Incident Report

Jesse Holman

Writer’s comment: In my past sixteen years of education, writing has never been one of my strengths. However, English 104A (Business Reports & Technical Communication) was not your typical five-essay college English class, especially when taught by Professor Squitieri. His assignments were always meaningful and conveyed a clear sense of purpose regarding their real world application. The Incident Report was a perfect example of this type of assignment, and the report itself immediately proved its usefulness. It was by far my favorite writing assignment in English 104A because it called for a hypothetical/ real situation. This Business & Technical Writing class helped me to realize my overall writing abilities, and it improved my writing by giving me practical business writing experience.
- Jesse Holman

Instructor’s comment: Grandiose formal reports often take pride of place in technical writing classrooms, but working professionals realize that humble little memos and incident reports perform the crucial everyday work of business and industry. Jesse Holman’s incident report, written for English 104A: Business Reports & Technical Communication, demonstrates his keen sense of audience, purpose and professional context. Meticulously detailed and clearly formatted, the report delivers a wealth of necessary information in an impressively compact package.
- Victor Squitieri, English Department



22 January, 2000

To: Clement Ng, Vice President of Marketing
From: Jesse Holman, Regional Marketing Manager
Subject: Car Accident Involving a Company Car on January 21, 2000 and Future Safety Recommendations
Distribution: Stuart Kim, President of Web Awards Inc.
  Scott Wong, Vice President of Safety & Transportation
  Jennifer Hale, Vice President of Finance

On Wednesday, January 21, 2000 around 10:30 a.m., Web Awards Marketing Associates David Smith and Taylor Blair, from the San Jose Division Office, were in a car accident involving company car #453—the 2000 Dodge Viper RT/S, license plate #1SGX406; Smith’s California driver’s license number is B5372998. Smith, who was driving, lost control of the vehicle while going nearly 75 mph southbound and crashed into the guardrail on Highway 101 right before the Almaden Exit. After hitting the guardrail, the car immediately began to roll, and after Smith hit his head on the steering wheel, he was knocked unconscious; Blair fortunately sustained only minor injuries.

Smith and Blair left the Web Awards Corporate Headquarters in San Jose, CA at 10:03 a.m. and drove to San Francisco for a formal presentation regarding our new E-Innovationproduct. They took company car #453 for the trip with Smith as the driver and Blair as a passenger. Both men fortunately wore their seatbelts and were not thrown from the car during the crash. However, at about 10:25 a.m. Smith decided to make a phone call on his cellular phone to his wife who was at home. While talking, Smith neglected to pay attention to his driving and swerved off the highway, crashing into the guardrail on the shoulder. Nearly an hour from his destination, Smith was already late for the meeting that was scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. Because Smith did not take enough care while operating the vehicle and drove recklessly, he put both his and Blair’s lives in jeopardy. After crashing into the guardrail, the car flipped over and began to roll alongside the highway. After a few hundred feet, the car came to a screeching halt upside-down with both men lying unconscious. The accident immediately affected traffic, and cars began to slow down to avoid another collision.

Norman Stone of 418 Sundance Ave, Milpitas, California, was the first person on the scene following the crash and immediately stopped his car and got out to check on the passengers of the vehicle. Stone found both Smith and Blair still securely fastened in their seats but unconsciousness. Stone then called 911 on his cellular phone, and within five minutes paramedics arrived on the scene. At 10:41 a.m., two Emergency Medical Technicians from the San Jose Memorial Hospital, Michael Carter and Fred Bryant, arrived and removed both victims from the car and began CPR. Blair sustained minor injuries to his head and neck, but within a few minutes regained consciousness and managed to speak clearly to the paramedics. However, Smith was not so fortunate and was immediately rushed back to San Jose Memorial Hospital where he was placed under the care of Dr. Roger Littge, MD, and diagnosed with a mild concussion to the medial portion of his cerebrum. Our Automobile Insurance company, State Farm, determined that Company Car #453 was completely unsalvageable and will compensate Web Awards Inc. for the damages incurred for the amounts shown below. In addition, a portion of the guardrail on Highway 101 was destroyed due to the collision. Smith spent one night in the hospital and was released the following day into the care of his wife. Blair was allowed to go home for the day with minor bruises and came to work the following day with hardly any impairment to his job due to the accident. Smith, however, was given the rest of the week off and reported to work the following Monday, able to perform his duties as a Marketing Associate. Company Car #453 was towed away to the San Jose Municipal Wrecking Yard where it was left to be stripped of its remaining useful parts. The following expenses were incurred:

Company Car #453 $4,384 Market value minus insurance money
Hospital Bills $1,320 Ambulance & overnight stay
  – Smith’s Overnight Stay $670
  – Ambulance $650
Guardrail Replacement $3,500
Total Cost: $9,204

Many of the Marketing Associates within the company, as well as many other employees, all receive cellular phones when hired. These phones serve as an integral part of their business from day to day. This convenience is a great blessing for the company, in particular, because it allows us to operate in such a versatile manner. However, some consideration needs to be taken as to the extent of their usage. Cell phones help Web Awards Inc. conduct business more effectively, but we must ensure that our employees do not compromise their safety at anytime. I would solicit your consideration for the following recommendations:

[1] The Department of Safety & Transportation should enact a policy that prohibits any employee of Web Awards Inc. from using a cellular while operating any company vehicle at any time, effective immediately.

[2] The Department of Safety & Transportation should provide a mandatory two-hour class on the importance of safe driving and operation of all company cars to anyone wishing to use company vehicles.

[3] The Department of Marketing, as well as all other departments within the company, should make employees aware of the danger of using cellular phones while doing anything else that requires immediate attention.

I would encourage any questions that you may have regarding this matter and would like to meet with you in the next few days to discuss these recommendations.


Organizational Chart


Audience Analysis
Primary Audience
Stuart L. Kim, President – Web Awards Inc.
Use of Report: To make a decision on proposed recommendations
Information Needed: 1. Who will benefit from these suggestions?
  2. Will the recommendations suffice in solving this problem?
Secondary Audience
Scott Wong, Vice President of Safety & Transportation
Use of Report: To decide if recommended strategies are acceptable
Information Needed: 1. How will these recommendations improve the situation?
  2. What will this entail for the Safety & Transportation Dept.?
Jennifer Hale, Vice President of Finance
Use of Report: To determine if the company can afford to implement the given solutions and how they will affect the company’s finance dept.
Information Needed: 1. Is the accident significant enough for the company to spend a good portion of money to prevent its occurrence again?
  2. How will it affect the company if these ideas are disregarded?
Immediate Audience
Clement Ng, Vice President of Marketing
Use of Report: To determine this memo’s importance and to pass it on to those who will act on the suggestions
Information Needed: 1. How will this accident affect our company and this dept?