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Highway Patrol: 1,600 crashes on I-70 so far this year

So far this year, ABC 17 News confirmed 1,600 car crashes have happened on I-70 statewide, killing 35 people.

This includes Tuesday’s fatal crash near Kingdom City that killed Robert Brainerd, 46, of St. Louis, and Charles Moore, 46, of Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Sergeant Scott White with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the Major Crash Investigation Unit is looking at both weather and driver factors that may have contributed to the crash, which backed up Interstate 70 for several hours Tuesday.

“We hadn’t received rain in a long time so when rain hits that pavement it can cause a slippery surface,” White said. “That’s one of the main reasons why we advise people to slow down when it comes to the weather conditions. Avoid accelerating rapidly and avoid breaking or swerving abruptly.”

Of the total wrecks on I-70 this year, only 166, or about 10 percent, have happened in the rain, according to State Highway Patrol crash reports.

More than 54 percent happened in clear weather conditions.

Sgt. White explained Tuesday’s crash happened in an area along the highway where there is no median guard cable.

Jon Nelson, MoDot Traffic Safety Engineer, said the median guard cables were installed about 10 years ago after studying areas where there was a high number of cross median crashes.

“It’s been probably one of the most successful engineering counter measures that we can take in preventing serious crash types,” Nelson said. “As a state, we’ve seen over a 90 percent reduction in those median fatalities. We estimate the installation of guard cable saves anywhere from 40 to 50 lives a year.”

Nelson said the guard cables stop 95 percent of vehicles from crossing over the median.

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