SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The criminal trial of Nauman Hussain continued May 12, 2023 with the prosecution calling Brian Chase, a vehicle forensics expert, to the stand.
Chase was hired by the New York State Police to conduct the vehicle autopsy and investigation into what caused the fatal crash on Oct. 6, 2018 through his company, Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Services and Consulting.
Chase walked the jury through parts of his 83-page report, vehicle autopsy and analysis. His testimony highlighted flaws in parts of the limo’s body, transmission and brakes that show a “lack of proper maintenance.”
Chase, through this report, determined the cause of the crash as catastrophic brake failure. He pointed to, what he called, a “considerable amount of rust” on parts of the rear brakes that he says can reduce the amount of friction and effectiveness when braking.
He said the two rear brakes showed a lack of brake dust on the wheels. That brake dust is created as the pads and the rotors work together to stop the wheel from moving.
Chase said a fractured brake line prevented brake fluid from getting to the two rear brakes on the limo, causing them to fail completely.
He said the heat from the brake system at the time of impact was so extreme that some parts appeared to be charred or covered with ash from burned brake dust. Chase said those brake parts exhibited an odor that was “intense” and “unforgettable.”
His testimony echoing what we heard earlier in the week from Mavis Discount Tire mechanics who said the brakes were worn down to metal; and from witnesses who saw the limo as it drove towards Schoharie who said they smelled a strong burning order.
Chase said there were multiple pre-existing conditions caused by a lack of proper maintenance that contributed to the crash, including extreme corrosion of the rear brake hose which meant the rear brakes were completely inoperable. There was also deep scoring and rust on the rear brakes and pre-existing corrosion on the front brakes. According to Chase, all of these factors contributed to catastrophic brake failure.
During cross examination, defense attorney, Lee Kindlon, continued his focus on Mavis and if Chase knew Virgil Park lied about performing maintenance work on the limo. Chase said he was only aware Mavis lied about replacing the master cylinder. He said he was not aware Mavis lied about conducting a safety inspection on the limo.