“Black Box” Used in Negligent Homicide, DUI Case

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Narjis Meti, 60, was killed in a head-on collision in 2012 that authorities say was caused by Mack Hinson, 35 at the time.

Hinson was arrested a few months after the crash for negligent homicide.

Hinson is facing a jury in Pulaski County Circuit Court this week for his charges.

There are several pieces of evidence that State Prosecutors are trying to use against him including a blood test and the crash investigation.

The defense is arguing that there are pieces of the investigation and physical evidence from the accident that aren’t adding up and shouldn’t incriminate their client, Hinson.

In the audience inside the Pulaski County courtroom, three sisters sit after having waited two years for the trial of the man accused in the death of their mother.

“It killed a very, very important person in our lives,” Linda Fellone said. “It’s really hard. We hope and pray that the price will be paid for the damage that has been done to our family.” 

Fellone’s mother was hit head on while driving westbound on Cantrell Rd. in October of 2012 when prosecutors say Mack Hinson, driving in the other direction, swerved and pushed a truck into hers.

According to a crash investigation by LRPD, Hinson, driving eastbound in the outside lane, hit the curb, swerved into the inside eastbound lane and struck a Dodge Ram truck. 

State prosecutors say due to the force of the impact, Hinson’s Toyota Prius and the truck both swerved to the left forcing the truck to hit Meti’s Mazda head-on.

According to police and prosecutors, Hinson did not immediately stop but pulled into a nearby Starbucks parking lot before returning to the scene minutes later.

According to State prosecutors Hinson’s blood alcohol level was over the legal limit at a .12 and his blood also tested positive for several drugs including valium and Benadryl.

Hinson’s defense team Wednesday (12/10) argued against most of the crash investigation done by LRPD Officer Ralph Breshears.

They claimed he was doing the speed limit on Cantrell and never left his lane and that he was the one hit by the truck.

Police however have testified that there’s a small piece of equipment that recorded exactly what happened.

A Crash Data Recorder, or what’s commonly referred to as the “black box”, was in Hinson’s car.

According to Officer Breshears most cars with air bags have a black box. It’s only a matter of whether LRPD can pull the data.

Breshears says the black box records five second before and five seconds after a collision and documents data such as speed, acceleration, braking and change in direction.

Breshears said, “I cannot express how deeply important this is to use this equipment if you have access to it.”

He goes on to say that the black box in Hinson’s car goes against everything Hinson and his defense team has claimed.

“[It] Completely refutes what he says and shows him leaving his lane, going across other lanes of traffic, striking another vehicle and pushing it at an exceptionally high rate of speed for Cantrell road,” Officer Breshears explained. 

He says the data pulled off the box shows Hinson was going 70 miles per hour the moment before the collision.

Experts say there are, sometimes, accuracy issues with the black box on wet roads or if a vehicle is sliding sideways. It is typically used as a compliment to the physical evidence on the scene like skid marks.

Breshears says every vehicle after 2014 will be readable by LRPD.

The defense also argued that the blood test might not have been accurate as a result of either possible contamination in the lab or the timing of when the blood was taken and how long it took to get to the lab. 

The defense attorney said he’d wait to comment after the trial.

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