Highway cable barrier saved woman’s life: police

Police are crediting a new cable median installed along Highway 99 with saving the life of a Surrey woman Sunday night, after she lost control of her SUV and flipped it over the barrier.

“It did make a difference,” said Deas Island RCMP acting Cpl. Robert Sayer. “The cable barrier absorbed enough of the kinetic energy that she was able to stop before actually colliding with another vehicle.”

The woman, a Surrey resident in her 50s, was southbound on the highway around 7 p.m. Feb. 20 when she was apparently cut off by a Nissan sedan just north of the Burlington Northern overpass. Her Ford crashed into and over the cable barrier, flipping “multiple” times, Sayer said.

One motorist caught in the resulting traffic gridlock reported seeing the Ford resting on its side across both northbound lanes.

Sayer said investigation is ongoing, however, speed was definitely a factor in the crash. Due to the other driver’s young age, Sayer would not release their details other than to confirm he or she is a Surrey resident.

While the airlifted woman was initially believed to have been seriously injured, Sayer said she was later determined to have suffered only minor injuries. She was released from hospital about four hours after the crash, he said.

The cable – installed last year as part of efforts to improve safety along a 22-kilometre stretch of the highway – was central in preventing a fatality, he said.

“If the barrier weren’t there, she probably would not have survived the crash.”

Criminal charges against the Nissan driver are possible, Sayer said.

Anyone who witnessed the crash who has not yet spoken to police is asked to contact Cpl. Trish Dobson or Const. Jeff Miller at 604-946-2184.