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Grand Parkway Safety Barrier Under Investigation After Fatal Crash

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 9:29 am    

Houston State Highway 99 Grand Parkway

Photo credits to TxDOT

The median fence designed to prevent collisions was proven to be ineffective in preventing an accident on December 12 that killed two people on Grand Parkway in Northwest Harris County.

A report from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shows that at least two highway safety features were unable to keep the truck from entering on the other lanes.

The Texas Peace Officer’s Uniform Crash report stated, “Unit 1 then veered south across the westbound lanes where it entered the grassy median and struck three barricades before entering the eastbound lanes of SH-99.”

The truck in question lurched off a concrete wall and the cable fencing that was supposed to prevent traffic from veering on opposite lanes wasn’t able to contain the vehicle.

Head-On Collisions

After the Ford F-15 crossed the median, it hit a guardrail lining on the opposite side of the lanes that broke apart upon impact and this served as a launch pad for the 4,500-pound truck.

“As Unit 1 struck the metal guard rail on the north side of the eastbound lanes, Unit 1 climbed the guardrail, and struck Unit 3 on the top,” according to the accident report.

The Unit 3 vehicle was a Lexus SUV driven by 66-year-old Linda Fuggiti who was killed in the accident. The Unit 2 driver was the sole survivor of the crash.

Another victim has been identified as 78-year-old Michael Brown who was also killed where he was struck by the truck and another vehicle.

The section of the Grand Parkway where the accident happened is managed by TxDOT. The safety features and lanes are newly constructed and not retrofitted parts of 99 such as certain areas of the Fort Bend County toll road.

TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez said that a review of every fatal accident on any road managed by the state agency is dictated by standard operating procedures. Perez and the agency also want to see if there are other crashes in that area and if there’s anything they can do to improve the region’s safety.

Since January 1, 2016, TxDOT records indicate 24 deaths on Grand Parkway main lanes and frontage roads. Their reports also reveal a total of 16 fatal accidents since 2010.

head-on collisions Highway Accidents - williamskherkher

Median Barriers for Highway Safety

Median barriers are designed to separate traffic and prevent vehicles from going into opposite lanes of the highway. Typically constructed in urban multi-roads, they can also be utilized to prevent pedestrians in crossing the road at unsafe places.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the type of median barrier:

  • Traffic speed and volume
  • Width
  • Vehicle mix
  • Road alignment
  • Crash history
  • Number of lanes
  • Maintenance costs
  • Installation

Advantages

  • Can help prevent dangerous overtaking maneuvers
  • Minimize head-on collisions
  • Can shift turning movements to safer areas

Disadvantages

  • Can restrict the flow of traffic if a vehicle breaks down
  • Emergency vehicles won’t be able to access roads when there are median barriers
  • Median barriers can be safety hazards if they’re not well-designed
  • Some regions have materials used for medians that are at risk of being stolen

What Victims of Highway Accidents Can Do

If you have a loved one involved in a highway accident due to negligent of the other party, the lawyers at Williams Kherkher are here to help. Get the justice for your loved one through our experienced attorneys and extensive resources. We handle personal injury cases such as truck accidents, aviation accidents, and carbon monoxide poisoning, and we’re ready to help your family recover through litigation on your behalf. Get in touch with us now to get started.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident?

Contact us today at (888) 220-0640 to get a free, confidential case evaluation.