FOX19 Investigates: Effectiveness of cable median barriers - WNEM TV 5

FOX19 Investigates: Effectiveness of cable median barriers

Posted: Updated:
86-car Pileup on I-275 at Colerain Ave on Monday 86-car Pileup on I-275 at Colerain Ave on Monday
  • FOX19 Investigates: Effectiveness of cable median barriersMore>>

  • Bystanders tried to save girl, 12, who died in pileup

    Community mourns 12-year-old girl killed in highway pileup

    Thursday, January 24 2013 7:29 AM EST2013-01-24 12:29:13 GMT
    A 12-year-old girl who was killed in a massive pileup on Interstate 275 has been identified. Sammy Reagan was a sixth grader at Columbia Elementary. Counselors and Psychologists were on hand at ColumbiaMore >
    Sammy Reagan, a sixth grader at Columbia Elementary, was killed in a massive pileup on Interstate 275 on Monday. Counselors were on hand at the school on Tuesday to talk with students and staff.More >
  • Girl killed, 138 cars involved in two massive pileups

    Girl killed, 138 cars involved in two massive pileups

    Tuesday, January 22 2013 6:30 AM EST2013-01-22 11:30:37 GMT
    Separate crashes have closed southbound I-75 in Middletown and eastbound I-275 near Colerain. Southbound Interstate 75 in Middletown is closed north of SR 63 due to a series of crashes. Motorists haveMore >
    A 12-year-old girl killed was killed in an 86 vehicles pileup on I-275 crash near Colerain Avenue. In addition, 52 vehicles were involved in a separate pileup on southbound I-75 in Middletown, with only minor injuries reported.More >
(FOX19) -

The death of 12-year-old Sammy Reagan after Monday's pileup on I-275 has raised a lot of questions about highway cable median barriers.

On Tuesday, FOX19 investigated how safe they really are, and why the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) chooses to install them on Ohio roadways. 

"We have not seen anything like this in Hamilton County before, and I pray to God that we never see it again," said Hamilton County Sheriff, Jim Neil. 

While the devastation on I-275 was immense, involving at least 86 vehicles, ODOT stands firm behind the barriers' record for avoiding tragedy. Officials argue it could have been worse if the wire barrier was not in place. 

"As far as I'm concerned, those cables did their job to keep traffic from crossing that median," said Neil. 

ODOT District 8 Spokesperson, Sharon Smigelski agreed, "It was never broken, the tension held, and it did stop the truck from crossing the median."

A study conducted by ODOT found 15% of cable barrier crashes resulted in injuries, but that number nearly doubled to 28% for guardrails, and hit 35% for concrete barriers.

"Deadly cross median crashes have been nearly eliminated with the result of using these types of barriers," revealed Smigelski.

The wires help catch vehicles and keep them from crossing into oncoming traffic or bouncing back in into the highway. They're designed to withstand a lot of energy.

Officials said Sammy Reagan was killed because she was standing to close to the cable median when it was impacted.


"The cable absorbed the energy but when it came back to its state... The movement of the cable, she was struck by the cable," said Neil.

Contrary to some initial reports, Smigelski said the cable never snapped, and in fact, did what it was designed to do.

In addition, the cable barriers are also popular because they're cost effective. Each mile costs ODOT $95,000, which is 4x cheaper than concrete barriers. 

The cable barrier were first approved for Ohio in 2003. Since then, over 300 miles of the wire medians have been installed across the state.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Suspect in fatal church shooting charged with murder

    Suspect in fatal church shooting charged with murder

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:12 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:12:45 GMT

    The suspect in the fatal shooting at an Antioch church will be charged with one count of murder in connection with the shooting on Sunday morning, police said.

    More >

    The suspect in the fatal shooting at an Antioch church will be charged with one count of murder in connection with the shooting on Sunday morning, police said.

    More >
  • Meijer bakery employee diagnosed with hepatitis A

    Meijer bakery employee diagnosed with hepatitis A

    Friday, September 22 2017 8:55 AM EDT2017-09-22 12:55:52 GMT
    (Source: Meijer)(Source: Meijer)

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed a bakery food worker at the Meijer store located at 1015 Pickard Street in Mt. Pleasant was diagnosed with the illness.

    More >

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed a bakery food worker at the Meijer store located at 1015 Pickard Street in Mt. Pleasant was diagnosed with the illness.

    More >
  • Taco Bell to open 300 new locations that will serve alcohol

    Taco Bell to open 300 new locations that will serve alcohol

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 5:29 AM EDT2017-09-20 09:29:05 GMT
    (Wikimedia Commons)(Wikimedia Commons)

    Taco Bell is about to put booze on the menu at more than 300 new locations.

    More >

    Taco Bell is about to put booze on the menu at more than 300 new locations.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.