Truck driver video shows cable barriers at work

Published: May. 12, 2015 at 9:56 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2015 at 12:32 AM CDT
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Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A truck driver has captured a dramatic video of an RV crash on Interstate 10. Louisiana State Police said it was a miracle no one was seriously hurt. They add, it is further proof that cable barriers save lives.

The video was taken from a camera inside the cab of an 18-wheeler. The driver, Jonathan Mendel, was heading west along I-10 in Ascension Parish when an RV towing a pickup truck pulled up next to him. Just moments after it passes, the video shows the RV suddenly shift to the left, hit the cable barriers in the median, turn on its side and slide through the grass.

"It was unbelievable. It may sound like I am calm, but believe me, for two hours I was shaking," Mendel said.

The video also shows two cars in the eastbound lane in the motor home's path. It eventually comes to a stop in the eastbound side of the interstate.

"At that point I didn't think. I just reacted. I pulled over thinking 'someone's going to get hurt in this,'" Mendel said.

Mendel called 911 and used GPS to tell authorities his exact location.

Investigators said the tire blew on the front driver side of the RV causing it to run off the road.

Louisiana State Police Trooper First Class Dustin Dwight said the driver, who has a commercial driver's license, could only do so much. Dwight said the cable barriers in the median prevented a potentially deadly situation.

"When you have a crossover type collision, nine times out of ten you're looking at a fatal crash. To see these cables preventing a crossover crash is really important, and in this situation it stopped an RV," Dwight said.

To date, 105 miles of cable have been installed along interstates in Louisiana.

Parish Amount of Cable 
East Baton Rouge
St. James
St. John 
36 miles 
St. Tammany 33 miles 
Tangipahoa 19 miles 

There are currently two areas where cables are under construction.

Area Amount of Cable 
I-20 132 miles 
Orleans 24 miles 

Mendel said he has seen the cable barriers work before, but he said after witnessing the crash involving an RV, he has no doubt they are an important tool in saving lives.

"I'm thinking maybe those cables helped that RV keep from hitting those cars. Thinking back, I still get shaky seeing that," Mendel said.

The DOTD said the goal is to have 508 miles of cable barrier installed along Louisiana interstates in the next three fiscal years.

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