Local News

medians

Posted June 30, 2003

— You see them along highways - guardrails or cables. And they're there on I-40 in Garner where two people died Saturday after their car flipped and crossed the median. WRAL's Scott Mason reports, the barrier did not stop the car's progress because the barrier ends where the acccident began.

#Kevin Lacy\2 ;1:17-1:23 #Traffic Safety Engineer

Interstate 40 in Garner. Witnesses say Robert and Elizabeth Anderson's Pathfinder blew a tire, flipped across the median and crashed into a jeep and tractor trailer. The crash killed the couple and injured five people. 18:56 STANDUP: NORTH CAROLINA HAS SPENT MORE THAN 100 MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS TRYING TO PREVENT CRASHES LIKE THE ONE THAT HAPPENED HERE SATURDAY. THE STATE HAS INSTALLED BARRIER LIKE THIS ON 1,000 MILES OF HIGHWAY. BUT ON THIS STRETCH OF HIGHWAY THE BARRIER ENDS. AND IT ENDS WHERE THE ANDERSON'S CAR WENT FLIPPING ACROSS THE MEDIAN. :17

7:52 THEORETICALLY, IT'S POSSIBLE THAT IF THE GUARDRAILWAS THERE AND THE ANDERSONS, MR. AND MRS ANDERSON HIT THE GUARDRAIL, THAT THEY MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE? I WOULD NOT SPECULATE ON THAT. :04

Kevin Lacy is a traffic safety engineer with DOT.

3:52 I DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY IT STOPS. I MEAN, WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST GO AHEAD...ALL THE WAY TO THE END? ALL THE WAY TO THE END? THE MEDIAN WIDENS OUT PRETTY WIDE THROUGH THERE. :59

And he says DOT doesn't put barriers in wide medians because the chance of an accident is not as great.

4:21 IT GETS SMALLER AS THE MEDIAN GETS WIDER BECAUSE A VEHICLE WILL RECOVER. :26

In this case, the vehicle did not recover.

6:14 IN RETROSPECT, ARE YOU SAYING, GOSH, MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE EXTENDED THE GUARDRAIL? WHAT WE WILL DO IS WE WILL INVESTIGATE THAT SECTION. :24

Garner Police say if the Anderson's tire had blown, say, 20 feet earler, the Pathfinder would have hit the barrier. And maybe the Andersons would have survived. Scott Mason, WRAL News, Garner.

We talked with the Andersons daughter today in Missouri. She says a family friend of her parents died in much the same way, and that family has been campaigning for median barriers ever since. In lieu of flowers, the Anderson's daughter asks that donations be made to further that cause.//

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