BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — The reggae band Inner Circle will perform as scheduled tonight in California. However, a blown tire on the tour bus nearly prevented that from being a reality.
"Listen man, God is good," Roger Lewis, guitarist for Inner Circle, said in an interview with Jamacia Observer. "I thought the whole bus was gon' flip and it was all gon' be over. It was like a movie, everyting was flyin' and turnin'.”
The band’s tour bus crashed in the I-10 median near Highland Road on Tuesday, June 4 at around 3:30 p.m. Lewis believes the cable barrier saved their lives.
“The only thing that held us from flipping was a wire,” he said. “And the driver was very good, he held tight.”
That stretch of cable barrier was installed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) in September 2012. The project cost $2.7 million for 22.5 miles of barrier between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It took a little less than a year to complete.
“I’ve personally seen a reduction in cross over crashes since the cable barriers were put in place,” Trooper Jared Sandifer, Louisiana State Police, said. “I would like to see the barriers in as many places along the Interstate as possible.”
The Federal Highway Administration reports that states utilizing the barriers have seen a 90 percent or more reduction in cross-median fatalities.
“Anytime you have a car entering the median, it’s very easy for it to cross the other side,” Sandifer said. “The cable barriers prevent the car from going to the other side, preventing a serious or fatal crash.”
The investigating trooper for the Inner Circle crash told Sandifer that he “truly believes that barrier kept the bus from going into the other lanes of travel,” which would have had devastating consequences.
The first two areas in Louisiana that received these life-lines were I-12 in St. Tammany Parish (32 miles) and along the entire length of I-10 in St. James Parish (6.8 miles). Later, barriers were installed on I-12 throughout the length of Tangipahoa Parish (17 miles) and on I-10 from the St. John Parish line to the Hope Canal (19.5 miles).
"Cable median barriers are the additional safety that Louisiana needs," Lt. Col. John Leblanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, said. "We appreciate the work that DOTD has put into this project."
Louisiana has roughly 890 Interstate miles, and more than 16,600 miles of roadway.