I-75 triple fatal: Do cable barriers stop wrong-way highway crashes?

Three people were killed Friday evening when a semi-tractor trailer crossed the median on I-75 in Moraine, breaking through the cable barriers before hitting a car head-on.

The semi truck driven by Todd Bowling, 40, of Crosswell, Michigan, was going north when it traveled into the southbound lanes.

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The Ohio Department of Transportation said despite the cable barriers not stopping the semi from going into oncoming traffic, they are safer than other types of barriers and do reduce wrong-way and fatal crashes.

“When we analyzed some of the locations that have had cable barriers for a while, we found they reduced cross-median crashes by 91 percent, fatalities by 83 percent and serious injuries by 98 percent,” said ODOT spokesperson Matt Bruning.

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“I don’t anticipate a cable barrier like that to stop a vehicle like that,” said Moraine police Sgt. Andrew Parish.

About 17 percent of crashes into cable barriers result in injuries, compared to 38 percent of concrete and 34 percent of guardrail crashes, Bruning said, adding that cable barriers help “capture” vehicles to prevent them from traveling across the median into oncoming traffic or bouncing back into traffic.

The cable barriers for $95,000 per mile, according to ODOT.

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