CSI: Miami s08e08 Episode Script

Point of Impact

Hello? - Oh, my God! - Help me Help.
Stay back, okay? Stay back.
Get you out of here.
I need an ambulance at the corner of Orchard and Bloom.
And a fire truck, hurry! This looks ugly.
One dead, one survivor.
- Any sign of a second driver? - No, fled the scene.
I've got patrol barricading the neighborhood.
So I assume they've got someone on his trail? Yeah.
Horatio's canvassing the perimeter.
Also, there's a possible witness.
A Good Samaritan was jogging Pulled the victim's son out of the back of the SUV.
Possibly saved his life.
Is that the victim's son in the back of the ambulance? That's him.
Hey, what are you doing? You could be compromising evidence.
You know the way I feel about it is, he is going to replay this day over and over again in his mind.
I don't want it to be any worse.
Hang on a second.
I need a paramedic! She's alive! Hang in there, sweetheart.
Give her some room, please.
- Give her some room.
- She gonna be okay? It's too soon to tell.
We believe she was driving the other car.
What? No, that's Lily, my sister.
Wait a minute, she was in the Escalade with you? Yes.
Can I go? Yeah, stay with her.
She must've been thrown from the vehicle.
Question is, who was driving the Bentley? Somebody with something to hide.
Good, thanks.
Well, patrol just got back to us.
License plate belongs to a Billy Jones.
Well, where the hell is he? He wasn't here.
Reported it stolen last night.
That means somebody jacked the car, caused a crash to kill the woman and fled.
Guy's a one-man crime spree.
we don't even know which car caused the accident yet.
Well, we know that innocent people don't flee the scene.
Well, I can take the steering wheel back to the lab.
Try it for prints.
Yeah, good idea.
Hold up a second.
This seat is set back like mine is.
Farther, even.
All right, so we must be looking for a big guy.
I think the word that you were looking for is "tall," Officer Cardoza.
We're looking for a tall guy.
About 6'4", at least.
You know, our Good Samaritan isn't looking so good.
People still asking you questions? Nah, I'm just waiting for my sister to pick me up.
Thought you said you were jogging.
You don't live around here? You were the one driving the Bentley, weren't you? Okay.
I own this very successful video game company.
And when people find out you have a lot of money, they'll use any excuse to sue.
Are you admitting you were at fault in the accident? No, I just wanted to consult with my lawyer.
Well, you're going to need one that specializes in criminal defense; this is vehicular manslaughter.
No, no, no- I was just making a turn.
They came out of nowhere.
How come you don't have a scratch on you? - I guess I was lucky.
- Lucky, huh? Not so much.
We know that that car was stolen.
I didn't steal it.
I was returning it.
Yeah, see, you already used that Good Samaritan story once already.
Look, my sister's dating the guy who owns the Bentley.
She got into a sticky situation with him.
I was just returning the car.
Well, I guess we'll need your sister to come in and verify that story.
Okay Bring him over to Holding.
- Don't touch me! - Ma'am Excuse me! Excuse me, where is my brother?! Ma'am? Ms.
Emparo, it's okay.
Calm down, - all right? I got it.
Let's - I want to see Victor.
Okay, I have a few questions, then you can talk to him.
No, first I see him, then I answer your questions.
Your brother is in a lot of trouble.
Why? He was driving a stolen car when the accident occurred.
You know anything about that? I told you, let me see him first.
All right.
You need to have a seat.
Your brother's being arrested for grand theft auto.
I'll have to call upstairs to see if I can get permission.
Victor didn't steal it.
I did.
But I didn't mean to.
It's my ex-boyfriend's car.
We were fighting.
It got really heated, and I got scared.
I had to get out of there, so I took off.
In a car that didn't belong to you? But I never meant to keep it.
I couldn't face Billy again, so Victor offered to return the car.
He was just trying to protect me.
CSI Cardoza! We got a problem in here! - What happened? - I don't know.
- We just found him like this.
- What happened to him? Officer, what is going on? He doesn't have a pulse.
Get an EMT in here.
Yes, sir.
Excuse me.
I think he's the largest one I've ever caught.
Look, I don't understand.
How did he end up on the floor of the holding cell? Pretend this is Victor's head.
And I assume the gelatin is his brain? Which, before the crash, was a solid mass.
But then He suffered a diffuse axonal injury from the impact, which started an ischemic cascade that caused apoptosis leading to neuron necritis.
His head shook so hard, it broke his brain? Fractured with invisible cracks.
Once Victor's brain stopped working, so did his lungs and heart.
But he was fine.
I spoke with him after the accident.
He was completely coherent.
It's called "talk and die" syndrome.
The jostling rips the nerves apart, causing the brain cells to atrophy, which takes time.
He could've gone on for days before dropping dead.
This brings the body count on this accident to two.
Man, it's insane.
I mean, the guy was standing right over there.
Looked fine to me.
Yeah, I bet he thought he dodged a bullet.
Anyway, Walter, last time I checked you can't charge a dead man with vehicular manslaughter.
Looks like the family may still want to pursue civilly.
So Horatio wants all the "i's" dotted and "t's" crossed.
Okay, you want me to tell you what happened, Walter? Victor Emparo came out of the stop sign too fast into oncoming traffic.
End of case.
- Let's go eat.
- Yeah, case isn't closed until we got some solid physical evidence, my friend.
I'm hungry.
And what I got here says the northern-most end of the debris indicates a point of impact approximately the point of reference.
And according to Victor Emparo's account, he was turning right from the southwest corner.
And judging from the damage done to the SUV here, it rear-ended the Bentley.
Which means the SUV must have been coming from that way, over the bridge.
Yeah, width of the mark is consistent with an SUV's tires.
Only problem is, this tread is arcing away from the center of the road.
It's turning into the Bentley.
If somebody cuts you off, your natural reaction is to turn away, avoiding the crash.
How in the hell did you fit under there? The skid mark under there indicates the SUV jammed on its brake before the impact.
Our seven-footer definitely had some lies up his sleeve, but this doesn't look like one of them.
He didn't cause this accident.
But what caused the SUV to swerve so erratically? Maybe an animal? A piece of debris? Maybe the mother was putting on makeup.
Maybe she was talking on a cell phone.
Okay, or maybe, and I hate to say this, some people like to add a little something-something to their morning coffee.
Mom with a habit.
Seen that before.
Tell you what- I'll, call Dr.
Loman, see if I can't get a rush on that tox report.
The blood ethanol level is So where does that put us? My math says.
That's definitely over the legal limit.
She shouldn't have been behind a pottery wheel, much less a steering wheel.
Ballard, where was your family going this morning? The kids were at a pep rally at Drake Point Beach.
My wife dropped them off and she picked them up when it was over.
Any idea where she was between drop off and pick up? I don't know.
She called, but I didn't answer.
I was- I was in a meeting.
And I didn't think anything of it at the time.
But maybe- maybe if I'd picked up, this wouldn't have happened.
I'm sorry.
Ballard- did your wife have a drinking problem? No.
No, of course not.
Why do you ask? Because her blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.
I mean, when we'd go out, she'd have a glass of wine with dinner, but that's it.
Karen would never drink and drive.
We have two teenagers living under our roof.
We don't even keep any liquor in the house.
Doesn't mean she didn't drink.
I know my wife.
Ballard, I have an alcoholic in my family.
- I know this is hard to hear.
- No, this isn't hard.
It's just wrong.
It may be, it may not be, but it's my job to find out.
What about the other guy? The one who stole the car shouldn't you be talking to him? The other driver died in custody this morning.
We've also proven it wasn't his fault.
There has to be another explanation.
I'm sorry I know, I knowYou want to know where Karen Ballard was driving prior to the accident, I get it.
But this GPS is pretty banged up.
Can we retrieve the data? Well, cross your fingers- and your toes.
And my toes.
Like I said, following the mother's movements will be no problem.
Andrew Ballard and his wife claim they had no access to alcohol so where did they get it? Well, here's your bread crumb trail.
Home gas station Drake Point.
Home gas station Sixth and Colton.
What is at Sixth and Colton? The Rum Room.
I bet you can buy some alcohol there.
I bet you can too, Dave.
Calleigh Excuse me.
Table or the bar? Actually, I just have a few questions for you about one of your patrons.
Was this woman in here earlier today? I remember her.
Actually, she left her glasses here.
Can you get 'em to her? Sure.
Do you remember what she had to drink? She had a salty dog.
Do you remember how many? just the one.
I think the guy she was with drank most of it, though.
Oh, really? Was this the guy she was with? No.
Her guy was more the rock climber, runner, not-so-corporate type.
Well, that doesn't sound like her husband.
Husband? She didn't act like she had a husband.
I mean, they were practically doing it on the table.
And you're sure she just had the one drink? Positive.
They were in a hurry.
Too much of a hurry to leave a tip, apparently.
Well, thank you for your time.
Tell you what, Karen's husband sure didn't know much about her.
In addition to the drinking problem, she was also having an affair.
Yes, and one drink wouldn't put her past the legal limit, would it? I'm thinking maybe she had more after.
A flask.
They went to a liquor store.
So maybe we have a false positive.
That's interesting.
So you're thinking because we collected her blood sample postmortem, that bacteria developed in the body creating ethanol? That would give her an elevated blood level, wouldn't it? Yeah, it would.
Okay, then we're going to need to corroborate her blood tox with some other body fluid.
Vitreous, maybe? Vitreous is the best indicator and would protect after death.
That's going to be a tough one.
She suffered severe cranial damage and the one eye we do have is badly compromised.
Yes, but it could prove her innocence.
Let's look into it.
Are you still working this scene? Yep.
At point of rest, Karen Ballard was found in the driver's seat.
Now I've just got to show that she was there during the collision.
You here to help? No.
I'm here to look for Karen Ballard's eyeball.
Excuse me.
I know, but we can use it to confirm whether or not she was drunk.
Hey, Calleigh, don't let that husband's reaction trump your evidence.
I've worked my share of DUI's on night shift.
The family is always shocked.
Tell me about it.
Well, trajectory of the Escalade's roll threw the daughter's body off in those bushes over there.
All right, let's start there.
I'm going to let you handle that one.
Eyeballs are like my kryptonite.
Good to know.
Okay, I'm going to take this back to Tom.
Could you give this to Wolfe? Yeah.
Oh, gosh, Tom, what is it? According to the vitreous humor, Karen Ballard's alcohol level was only at a.
So our other blood sample was compromised.
She wasn't drunk.
I got something from the brake pedal.
Hit me.
Driver slammed on the brake, causing the shoe'stread to transfer to the pedal.
Okay, but can we confirm Karen Ballard was driving? That's the thing.
The tread doesn't match her shoe.
Ballard? I thought you might want some coffee.
Thank you.
Ballard, I am very glad to tell you that we ran some additional testing this morning and your wife was not inebriated.
I was wrong.
I knew you had to be.
But how could you just make an accusation like that? I made a mistake.
I'm sorry.
Science led me to the truth, thankfully.
But also about some other things.
Like what? We found out that your wife wasn't driving this morning.
What? What are you talking about? There was a pattern on the brake pedal, and it doesn't match your wife's shoes.
Unfortunately, that means I'm gonna have to ask for your children's shoes.
So you think one of my kids drove? Karen picked them up.
She was driving.
I'm sorry, our evidence just doesn't support that.
Well, it couldn't have been Lily, she's only 14.
- What about your son? - His license is suspended, and Karen would never let him get behind the wheel.
My daughter is still unconscious, and Greg has been through so much already today.
Why can't you just leave this alone? M.
Ballard, there are two people who died, and it is my responsibility to find out what happened.
But I am truely sorry.
Calleigh told me the husband was devastated.
Can you blame him? He just lost his wife, and now it looks like one of his kids caused the accident.
Not to mention, he was being cheated on.
Be careful with that information, 'cause the husband was never told.
What?! The guy doesn't know the worst of it? It wasn't pertinent to the case.
Look, his wife just died.
What good would it do to let him know his wife was also cheating on him? Wouldn't you want to know? Hey, I think we got a match.
The last time I drove was, like, two weeks ago.
I was out with some friends.
We were racing.
Go for it! This is crazy, men.
Oh, shoot! Slow down, man.
I got pulled over, and that's why my license got suspended.
Yeah, well, that and the marijuana they found in the car.
Who was driving today? My mom.
Even though she didn't have her glasses? Yes, she was fine.
I was asleep in the back, and then suddenly, sh-she just swerved.
I don't know why she swerved, she just did.
Why would I lie about this? You're aware that a man lost his life, right? I know how bad this was.
But you got to believe me, I was not driving.
There you go.
How you holding up? When can I go? Well, until your ex verifies your story, we have to hold you for grand theft.
Victor was always saving me in these situations.
Now That kid, he's injured.
Was he involved in the accident? I'm sorry, I can't talk to you about an ongoing investigation.
- Was it his fault?! - Marta Was he driving the car that killed my brother?! Don't make things worse keep your voice down.
I won't keep my voice down! He killed my brother, and he's walking out of here! No, we don't know what happened, Marta, but we will find out that I can promise you.
Sit down.
- Hey, Calleigh.
- Please tell me you have good news.
I wish I did.
I ran the soles of the son's sneakers through the FTIR.
Yeah? Take a look.
Come to find there's a softening agent mixed in with the plastic.
And soft plastics don't require high-speed impact to melt.
Oh, come on, that means the tread evidence on our brake pedal is equivocal.
The transfer from the son's sneakers could have happened from slamming the brakes on a different day.
That's what he told Horatio.
The one exception to the rule.
Just when you think you got something figured out, they throw you another curveball.
So what now? We find out once and for all who was driving that Escalade.
So, does anybody want to tell me why we brought the lab down to the garage? If we're gonna figure out who was driving, we need to trace the path of our passengers during the accident.
Basically, I tested all their clothes for nitrates, and they all came back positive.
Which means they really tumbled around during the crash.
So the best way to figure out who was where at the time of impact is with fiber plastic fusions.
What is that? Car crashes create so much speed and energy that the friction can cause fibers and patterns to actually fuse with with the car's plastic components.
Well, that's gonna be tough to sort, huh? With all those bodies rolling around in there.
You afraid of a challenge, Wolfe? All right, let's everybody pick a seat, and then we'll record every contact with a corresponding color.
The mom is red dots, the son is blue, and the daughter's green.
Drop it, Wolfe.
What? You need diffuse light to distinguish FPF's.
And you'll need one of these.
Look closely for abraded surfaces.
Transfers can be tough to spot.
You know, a nice young man was promoted from the night shift, and now he thinks he's God's gift to forensics.
Shame to see.
The son is all over the backseat.
The kid's flopping around like a fish out of water.
Well, that leaves the daughter or the mother in the driver's seat.
Well, the mother left transfer on the E-brake.
She was also found behind the steering wheel.
But the only way to actually confirm she was driving is to find evidence of the mother below the steering wheel.
Right, that's the only place none of the other passengers would have come in contact with during the roll.
I think maybe our best bet is to take a look at the panel for the steering column.
All right.
Thank you.
- Anything? - Not yet.
- Oh! Wait a minute.
Got a pinched fiber.
Walter, there's no crack in the plastic.
How did the fiber get stuck in there? - Bag that? - Yeah.
Well the plastic splits when the passenger impacts with it.
The fiber gets caught, then when the passenger shifts, the plastic recovers its original shape, as if nothing ever happened.
- It's crazy, right? It's not from the mom's pants.
I got nothing here.
The daughter was driving.
Mom said I could drive.
As long as I drove slow.
Why wasn't Mom driving? She didn't have her glasses, and Greg's license was suspended.
So he couldn't.
She tried to call you, but you didn't pick up.
It was such a short drive home.
Lily, what do you remember about the accident? Mom was sitting next to me.
Greg was in the back.
Take it easy, Speed Racer.
Eyes front.
Can we turn on the radio? No.
It'll distract you from the road.
Mom, it's okay.
We're, like, the only car out here.
- Ease up, ease up on the gas.
- Mom, I'm fine.
I'm not even going fast.
Were you this hard on Greg when he was driving? We drove across the bridge, and a gator came into the road.
I swerved to avoid it, but the car was acting weird.
The car was so heavy, and I couldn't turn the wheel.
This is all my fault.
You know, Lily, I'm not so sure about that.
Thought the daughter admitted to driving.
Yes, she did.
She said When she lost control of the car, the car felt heavy.
Could be operator error.
She's, uh- I don't know- young, inexperienced.
It could be equipment failure.
Let me see that light.
Steering fluid is very, very low.
That could've contributed.
So one of the parents forgot to top off the fluid.
Get them on negligence, maybe.
Could explain why she never corrected.
And without the power steering, she would've felt the full weight of the car, wouldn't she have? H, take a look at this.
This is from the steering system.
Hose is punctured.
Could've been a slow leak.
Wolfe, that's not from normal wear and tear.
That was cut.
Somebody intentionally tried to hurt this family.
Not the family, the mother.
Remember, she was having an affair, right? Boyfriend checked out; he's clean.
I'm not talking about the boyfriend.
How many different ways are you going to continue to attack me and my family today? I'm merely following the evidence, Mr.
And what evidence is telling you that I would sabotage my own wife's car? You are the one that had access and motive.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
You should check your facts.
Well, here's a fun little fact.
Your wife had a boyfriend on the side.
Who? You can drop the act.
She met him this morning before she picked up the kids.
And that didn't sit too well with you, did it? I swear I had no idea.
Really? Then why'd you lie to us? We checked your office.
You weren't there today.
I didn't want to admit that I missed my wife's last phone call for no good reason.
I told her that I was working this morning, but I was I was watching a stupid football game.
So if we looked in the garage, your garage, for the tool that cut the power steering line, are you saying we wouldn't find it? Search whatever you want.
- I would never hurt Karen.
- Who would want to? I don't know.
Seems there were a lot of things I didn't know about my wife.
It certainly does.
You see, the problem, Mr.
Ballard, is you're still our lead suspect.
Okay, these are all the tools from Andrew Ballard's garage.
Ryan, why don't you swab for steering fluid? Calleigh and I will examine each for any unique characteristic to match that steering line.
I have to say, I think we're barking up the wrong tree.
I mean, let's face it, even if the dad had an ax to grind, would he really endanger the lives of his own children? I've seen it all, Calleigh.
Not a lot of it makes sense.
I feel for those kids.
They've been through so much today.
And now Lily is facing vehicular manslaughter charges.
What's that smell? Is that? That's marijuana.
Why you smelling me? You have anything to say? I didn't do anything.
I just hung up those special lights you told me to.
There's not supposed to be anything flammable under the hood.
Those lights are metal halide.
They can heat up to a few hundred degrees.
That's definitely marijuana.
Yeah, it is.
That is a funny place to hide drugs.
It must be really jammed down there.
Let's get it out before we lose our evidence.
That is a tight place to hide something like this.
You know, whoever did that could've cut the steering line in the process.
Greg Ballard was caught with marijuana.
That's when his license was suspended.
I knew I could score some weed at the pep rally.
It was just for me, personal use.
No, that wasn't a recreational amount.
You were gonna sell it.
Only to my friends.
Greg, possession and dealing and trafficking are felonies.
I'm about to place you under arrest.
You understand that, don't you? Look, my parents got real strict after I got in trouble.
Always checking my room, my bag.
I figured the only way I could get it home was to hide it under the hood.
Hey, Mom, oil is fine.
You hid the weed yourself.
Yeah, this morning.
You inadvertently cut the cable.
That's why your sister couldn't turn the wheel.
So you you mean my mom isis dead because of me? I'm sorry, but it looks that way.
But, I I I didn't think things could get this bad.
I'm sorry.
Could you at least let my sister know it wasn't her fault? I'll do that.
I will, son.
Glad to see you're out.
I heard you guys talked my ex out of pressing charges.
Thank you.
Well, I'm sorry.
For everything.
Somehow I thought if I knew who caused the accident, it would make it better, make this feeling go away.
I should've never let Victor return that car.
I should've never drove it off in the first place.
This wasn't your fault.
What happened to your brother was an accident.
Just a series of random events that ended tragically.
You didn't cause it.
Like you said yourself, your brother was always trying to save you Well, this time he saved somebody else, too.
He pulled that kid from the wreck.
Your brother was a hero.
That's how you should remember him.
All right?