Tractor trailer stopped by median cable before crossing into head-on traffic

JOPLIN, Mo. — Friday morning at 3:35 a.m. reports of a tractor trailer facing west in the eastbound passing lane of I-44 near Rangeline alerted Joplin E-911.

Joplin Fire, Joplin Police and Newton County Deputies responded emergency. MoDOT Emergency Response were notified.

First report from 9.2 mile marker, east of the Rangeline exit, that a westbound tractor trailer had partially crossed the median and came to rest in the eastbound passing lane.

The median cable was involved and the tractor trailer had stopped.

The driver was not injured. The tractor trailer did not overturn.

M&M Wrecker were summoned to remove the tractor trailer.

“Median cables are effective in reducing the number of cross-median crashes both disabling and fatal and they are cost-effective,” State Traffic Engineer Eileen Rackers of MoDOT states. “The cables are hit more often, but more lives are being saved.”

The purpose of the median guard cable is to prevent vehicles that have left the roadway from sliding across the median and hitting oncoming traffic.

Head-on collisions are some of the most severe and deadly crashes on our roadways.

“On Interstate 70 in 2002, there were 24 fatalities involving cars that crossed over the median. In 2007, a year after guard cable was completely installed on all of I-70, there was one fatality involving a cross-median crash.” – MODOT


The median cable barriers cost about $60,000 per mile to install and approximately $10,000 a year to maintain.

Median cables must be repaired after each hit to maintain effectiveness. The initial installation was paid for through federal safety funding.

“Now that installation is complete, motorists are responsible for damages to the guard cable system. Much in the same way motorists are responsible for damages caused to other vehicles or property in collisions, any individual who causes damages to the guard cable system must pay to repair the damages,” MoDOT


2002: 24 crossover crash fatalities on I-70.
2007: Full year following 5-year project to complete cables: 1 fatality on I-70.

This is a breaking news story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more if this will slow down the early morning I-44 rush hours.



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