LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) - The car carrying five Grand Haven High School students eastbound on I-96 struck the end of a cable barrier, then either went over or through a second cable barrier on the other side, landing just short of oncoming traffic.
That's not supposed to happen when cable barriers are in place.
It's "not consistent with what we have been told," said Bowne Township Fire Chief Phil Daugherty. "However, I cannot bad-mouth cable guardrails. We are out here all the time, and, overall, I give cable guard rails a good review."
Cable guard rails are designed to absorb the energy of an impact and keep vehicles from crossing over the median.
Opponents maintain they can cause more harm than good.
MDOT began installing 300 miles of cable barriers along interstates in 2008, in areas that have a history of cross-median crashes. The department said they are very cost effective compared to other materials and estimate they will save 13 lives annually in similar accidents.
Responders at the scene of Grand Haven student crash were split about how the cable barrier performed in this case.
"I am sure it took some steam out of them and slowed them down some," Daugherty told 24 Hour News 8. "Who knows if this wasn't here at all all. Granted, it doesn't look like it did its job, but the car didn't end up in traffic. Who knows if there had been semis cruising through at the time? It could have been a terrible scene."
MDOT's office of Research and Best Practices is in the midst of an extensive study on cable barriers. The results will be ready in 2014.
Wednesday testimony alleged a Grand Rapids man admitted to family and friends that he killed his girlfriend Latrice Maze and put her body in a trash bin.
A domestic violence expert looked at dash cam video for 24 Hour News 8 Thursday that showed the Grand Rapids police response to an incident that allegedly happened the same day Latrice Maze disappeared.
A woman accused of perjury in connection to the homicide of Latrice Maze is back in jail.