A 17-year-old smashed head-on into a truck on Wednesday, leaving him with critical injuries. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after the trucking accident.
According to state troopers, the teen, who was driving a Honda, was heading north on I-5 near Centralia. He apparently drifted off the right side of the road. Then, say the troopers, he overcorrected and flew under (not over) the median.
Lt. Sean Hartsock, of Washington State Patrol, said, “His front end was down so as he went underneath, that cable barrier came back up the other side and hit this pickup. I’ve not personally seen a case where a vehicle has come under.” The crash is being investigated by both the state patrol and the state Department of Transportation.
Since the accident, design engineers with the state Department of Transportation have been taking a close look at how the cable barriers performed in the crash. Over the past few years, cable barriers have been called into question several times. According to King5.com, a recent study found that cable barriers decreased crossover collisions by 74%, except along a stretch of I-5 in Marysville. Eight people died on that particular stretch in seven years after vehicles were able to cross the median during Washington Auto Accidents. Since then, the governor has ordered improvements to add a concrete barrier on that stretch of the Interstate.
Regarding the Centralia area collision, the Department of Transportation says that before barriers had been installed on that section of highway in 2004, there were several crossover accidents. The DOT also stated that before any conclusion in this case can be arrived at, they have to wait for the state patrol to finish their report. However, investigators at this point say neither drugs nor alcohol were factors in this crash.