Infographic: deputy and bystander’s vehicles collide

August 01, 2006

This infographic for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, depicting a bystander’s crash with a deputy during a high-speed chase, involved a multi-faceted approach, incorporating research, sketching, 3D modeling, rendering vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator, and later integrating HTML, CSS, and SVG markup for an online presentation.

Deputy and Bystander’s Vehicles Collide

A college professor returning to his lab after dinner finds himself in the middle of a high-speed police chase, which leaves his car totaled and a patrol vehicle overturned.

Artist's rendition of deputy and bystander entering the same intersection

1At 7:22 p.m., Professor Leo Demski got the green light to cross U.S. 41. He was heading west, returning to his lab at New College of Florida. As he entered the intersection, he found himself in the middle of a high-speed police chase.

2Sheriff’s deputy Joseph Petta was chasing a stolen van heading south on U.S. 41. His vehicle’s emergency lights flashed, and its siren wailed. He had a red light as he entered the same intersection where Demski was crossing.

Artist's rendition of deputy and bystander's vehicles colliding

3Demski’s Subaru collided with Petta’s SUV. He was moving at about 10 miles per hour.

4Tire marks from the SUV indicated that Petta’s speed was approximately 60 miles per hour before impact.

Artist's rendition of the aftermath of a deputy and bystander's crash

5After the collision, the SUV continued to skid, leaving an additional 120 feet of tire marks on the road. It hit a curb, overturned, and smacked into a tree and a light pole.

6The stolen van that Petta was pursuing continued south on U.S. 41. It eventually stopped about a mile away, and its driver, Ronald Pendergrass, was arrested by deputies.

About the Process

Research. Police reports, and statistical data became my primary sources, guiding the visual narrative I aimed to convey.

Sketching. Armed with the research, I started sketching, which allowed me to map out the visual storytelling elements, ensuring a coherent and engaging sequence.

3D Modeling & Rendering. To bring a sense of realism and depth to the infographic, I turned to 3D modeling, creating accurate representations of vehicles, the intersection, and the shadows cast on the scene according to the time of day and weather report.

Vector Graphics. Transitioning from 3D modeling to vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator allowed me to refine and enhance the visual elements. This step ensured the scalability of the design while maintaining crispness and clarity.

HTML, CSS, and SVG Markup: Interactive and Accessible Design. For this portfolio, I elevated the project beyond the static state intended for newspaper printing to a responsive web graphic.

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