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Expert in accident reconstruction
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | September 12, 2006 | ANNIE SWEENEY

Posted on 09/27/2006 3:41:18 PM PDT by Freeport

Roland L. Ruhl, a top forensic engineer and nationally and internationally recognized expert in accident reconstruction who testified in hundreds of Chicago cases, died last week in Oklahoma.

Mr. Ruhl had lived in Champaign since 1991. He was 63.

He was in Purcell, Okla., at the scene of a high-profile accident he had been hired to investigate when he was fatally struck by the extended mirror of a utility-type vehicle, his family said.

"He was one of the leading people in the industry and had done this thousands of times," said his daughter, Laura Ruhl Genson. "It's highly unusual. It's unfathomable."

Mr. Ruhl was founder and CEO of Ruhl Forensic Inc., which provides expert accident investigation, analysis and reconstruction. He was born in Chicago but lived for many years in Freeport, Ill., before moving to Champaign.

Today, his firm practices in 50 states. Mr. Ruhl's expert testimony has been used in hundreds of Chicago courtrooms.

In addition, Mr. Ruhl traveled to Europe to provide expert testimony in accident cases involving members of the U.S. military assigned overseas.

"I have known him for years and he was just a good, good man," said Chicago attorney Ed Genson. "Great sense of humor and an expert at what he did."

Mr. Genson's son is married to Laura Ruhl Genson.

Mr. Ruhl earned three degrees from Cornell University and worked there for one year as an assistant professor. In 1970, he returned to Illinois and began a long career at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He served as an adjunct professor for the university while living in both Freeport and Champaign. He also served on the U. of I. President's Council and as a member of the University of Illinois Foundation.

Known as "Rolly" to friends, Mr. Ruhl is remembered for his zest for life and for placing a high value on education. He enjoyed flying, and while living in Freeport was a member of the Freeport Pilot's Association.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Ruhl is survived by his wife, Mary Enstrom Ruhl; two sons: Roland A. Ruhl and Andrew L. Ruhl; a sister and a granddaughter.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Burke Tubbs in Freeport. A memorial service will follow at 4 p.m.

TOPICS: Local News
KEYWORDS: drruhl; obituaries
I grew up in Freeport and "Dr. Ruhl", that's always how I addressed him, and my dad, dad called him "Rolly", were good friends. When Commodore came out with their first computers, the 32 & 64, Dr. Ruhl gave them to my dad to let the kids play with: My first real introduction to computers. Had my first game up & running in a couple of hours.... He painted my dad's first home built 10-speed bike; metallic gun metal blue... Cool... He always had a smile and most times a beer in hand at home...

Dammed shame. One of the good guys on this planet.

1 posted on 09/27/2006 3:41:19 PM PDT by Freeport
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To: Freeport

sounds like interesting work.

2 posted on 09/27/2006 3:43:22 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand ("...peace is the result of victory...")
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To: Freeport
RIP Dr Ruhl and prayers for his family.

As one who has diagramed countless collision scenes, I can certainly appreciate his contribution to the field of accident reconstruction

3 posted on 09/27/2006 3:47:39 PM PDT by Horatio Gates (The greener grass on the other side of the fence is artificial turf)
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To: Freeport

Man struck, killed by passing vehicle

Purcell, OK -- A man reconstructing an accident scene along Interstate 35 Friday died after he was hit by a passing vehicle.

Roland Ruhl, 64, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was walking near the inside shoulder of I-35 when he bent over to pick up an object and was struck in the head with the mirror of a passing vehicle, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Ruhl, who had been reconstructing and analyzing the dynamics of vehicular accidents for over 20 years, was taking measurements for the reconstruction of an accident that occurred a couple of weeks ago.

The accident occurred around 10:15 a.m. Friday at the 104 mile maker of I-35 in the southbound lanes. Southbound traffic was down to one lane for a few hours, according to the troopers.

Troopers said Ruhl was hit in the head by the mirror of a 2005 Chevrolet pickup driven by Keenon Davis, 20, of Oklahoma City. Keenon was driving a DirectTV company pickup.

The highway patrol said Ruhl was unfamiliar with Oklahoma law allowing for accident reconstruction investigations on Sunday mornings when traffic is at a minimum.

According to the patrol, Davis was not at fault.

The accident was investigated by trooper Jason McAlister. He was assisted by troopers Berry Heath, Albert Rangel, Brian Orr, Donald Meyer, Brian Landers and Shelby Humphrey.

The Norman police also assisted after being called by Goldsby Fire and Rescue to respond. When the accident occurred, Goldsby firefighters were on the scene of another car accident on Reece Road.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation was also on the scene.

>>>>I was interested in finding out what the high profile accident was that he was investigating in Purcell, but no clue. Just thought I'd pass that along to you.

Now they'll have to call out someone he probably trained so they can reconstruct this one. Note all the many investigators involved. Sorry about your and your dad's friend. Terrible thing to happen.

4 posted on 09/28/2006 4:14:54 AM PDT by Rte66
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