An Irving car accident that killed a driver has sparked debate over the merits of cable highway barriers.
The accident took place on State Highway 114 during rush hour on March 14. Police believe that 57-year-old Joel Buccy of McKinney was having problems with his blood sugar levels when he drove his van through the cable median barrier between Belt Line Road and the President George Bush Turnpike.
He crashed head-on into an oncoming truck that was driving west on SH 114. Buccy, who police investigators have said was a diabetic, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The early-afternoon wreck tied up traffic for several hours as emergency crews worked to clear the scene.
Irving police are meeting with engineers from the Texas Department of Transportation to determine whether a concrete barrier could prevent similar east-west crashes from happening in the future.
A 2010 study done by the Texas Transportation Institute found that concrete barriers do perform slightly better than cable ones, but the difference is minimal. TxDOT prefers the cable barriers in many areas, as concrete barriers are over twice as expensive to build and replace.
Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cynthia Northrop White believes that concrete barriers would not have made a difference in this case.
"Concrete might be a little more effective, but the penetration rate for the cable median barriers is less than 1 percent.” Northrop White said. “They have a very high percentage of reducing fatalities and incapacitating injuries. When you look at it, actually, concrete barriers and cable median barriers perform almost the same."
The attorneys and staff at Vujasinovic & Beckcom wish to extend our condolences to Mr. Buccy’s family and friends as we keep him in our thoughts and prayers.