Point of Impact
Point of Impact
Season 8
Number 8
Writer Krystal Houghton Ziv
Director Eric Mirich
Original Airdate November 16, 2009
Previous Episode: Bone Voyage
Next Episode: Kill Clause

Point of Impact is the eighth episode in Season Eight of CSI: Miami.


The CSIs investigate a horrible car crash to discover who or what caused it. The probe reveals the darkest secrets of the drivers involved.


An SUV slams into a Bentley, sending the car careening. A man runs up to the SUV and sees a woman dead in the front seat. He calls 911 and the CSI arrive at the scene. A teenage boy, Greg, is pulled from the car, and his younger sister, Lily, is found, alive, a ways from the car, leading the CSIs to conclude she was thrown from it during the accident. The woman in the front seat, their mother Karen, is dead. The driver of the Bentley is nowhere to be found, and when the team runs the plate they learn it belongs to a man named Billy Jones who reported it stolen the day before. Jesse and Walter examine the car and note that the front seat is pushed far back, indicating the driver was tall. The two take a look at the 6’4″ concerned passerby that called 911, Victor Emparo, and realize he was the driver of the Bentley. Victor admits he was the driver, but fearing litigation, he didn’t want to admit to it. Victor notes that he was lucky and wasn’t injured in the accident. Jesse brings him in to the station, and Victor’s sister, Marta, shows up, demanding to see her brother. She tells Jesse that she stole the car: Billy Jones is her ex-boyfriend and she fled his house the night before in the Bentley, and Victor was driving it back to Billy’s house when he got in the accident. Jesse takes her to see her brother, but before they can get to him, he collapses and dies in holding. Dr. Loman examines him and determines his brain was fatally shaken up in the accident, causing cracks and fissures to appear; Victor was basically a walking dead man.

The CSIs turn to figuring out the cause of the crash and, based on the tire patterns, determine the SUV struck the Bentley. But what caused the SUV to swerve into it? When Calleigh learns Karen Ballard had a .115 BAC, she gently questions Karen’s husband, Andrew, about whether his wife had a drinking problem. Andrew, who says he was at work at the time of the accident, insists his wife wasn’t an alcoholic. Dave Benton is able to recover data from the Ballards’ GPS, which shows that Karen was at a bar before she went to pick her children up. The waitress recalls Karen–and remembers that she met a man who wasn’t Andrew there, but only saw Karen with one drink. Karen was having an affair, but it seems she perhaps wasn’t drunk. Horatio posits that a bacteria buildup in Karen’s system could have resulted in a false positive, and suggests Calleigh test the viscous fluid from one of Karen’s eyes. Calleigh goes back to the scene to hunt for Karen’s eye, which was severed in the crash. She finds it and confirms in the lab that Horatio was right: her BAC was only .02, well below the legal limit. Ryan finds a shoe tread pattern on the brake pedal that doesn’t match Karen’s shoe. The pattern proves to match the shoe of her son, Greg. Greg insists he hasn’t driven the car in two weeks; the last time he drove it, he was busted for drag racing with his friends–and for having pot in the car. He claims his mother was driving the car. The CSI team gathers to determine who was driving the car based on fiber deposits from the various passengers’ clothes, which were left during the accident. Their results confirm that Greg was in the back of the car during the collision–and fibers found on the steering wheel match the pants of his sister Lily–not their mother.

In the hospital, fourteen-year-old Lily tells Horatio and her father that she was driving because her mother forgot her glasses. Lily swerved to avoid hitting an alligator, and feels terrible that she caused the accident, but Horatio isn’t so certain it was her fault. Horatio and Ryan go over the car again, and Ryan discovers a hose on the SUV has been cut. Horatio and Tripp interrogate Andrew Ballard, asking him why he lied about being at work during the accident. Andrew admits he was watching football, but denies having anything to do with sabotaging the car. When he learns his wife was having an affair, he’s shocked and saddened by the news. The team turns back to the car and Calleigh notices the smell of marijuana coming from under the hood. She realizes Greg must have hidden the pot in the body of the car, and inadvertently cut the hose when he did. Greg is devastated when he learns he accidentally caused the accident that killed his mother, and asks that his sister Lily be told it wasn’t her fault. Marta Emparo thanks Jesse for talking her ex out of pressing charges and tells him how terrible she feels about letting her brother return the car in light of what’s happened. Jesse tells her that her brother saved a kid’s life–that he was a hero.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Christian Clemenson as Tom Loman
  • Wes Ramsey as Dave Benton
  • Henry Simmons as Andrew Ballard
  • Sherri Saum as Karen Ballard
  • Nieko Mann as Lily Ballard
  • Arjay Smith as Greg Ballard
  • Pau Gasol as Victor Emparo
  • Paloma Guzman as Marta Emparo
  • Meg Cionni as Nicole
  • J. Trevor Davis as Bert
  • Ron Roggé as Officer

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 8
Out of TimeHostile TakeoverBolt ActionIn Plane SightBad SeedDude, Where's My Groom?Bone VoyagePoint of ImpactKill ClauseCount Me OutDelko for the DefenseShow StopperDie by the SwordIn the WindMiami, We Have a ProblemL.A.Getting AxedDishonorSpring BreakdownBackfireMeltdownMommie DeadestTime BombAll Fall Down