JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. - A cable barrier is being credited for stopping a Megabus from crossing the median and crashing into oncoming traffic following an accident on Interstate 65 in Greenwood early Monday morning.
The crash happened around 4:25 a.m. in the northbound lanes near mile marker 98. The double-decker bus bound from Atlanta for Chicago made contact with a car at the side of the road and flipped over.
According to Indiana State Police, officers were initially sent to the area for a car crash, but when they arrived on scene they also discovered the overturned bus.
“The bus was coming northbound on I-65 struck by another vehicle and the bus actually flipped over in the median, as you see it right here, and that’s where it hit the guard rail,” according to Battalion Chief Chris Harrell from Greenwood Fire.
The guard rail “absolutely saved this bus from going into the southbound traffic,” he said.
There were a total of 54 people on board. Dozens of them were taken to Indianapolis-area hospitals, but they are all expected to be OK.
Officials said the outcome could have been much worse if the bus had crossed the median and crashed into oncoming traffic on I-65 southbound.
"I mean it is fantastic at how it stops cross median head-on crashes which are the really, really messy crashes to have," said INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity.
INDOT has already invested $30 million on nearly 400 miles of cable barriers across the state.
The barriers are made up for four cables that are each three-quarters of an inch thick. They are held up by anchor posts, and together they work to lasso a vehicle that hits it. The barrier has a breaking strength of 39,000 pounds.
"It stopped this bus. It stops semis, it stops cars, and it reduces fatalities by a tremendous amount," said Maginity. "This is a well thought out, well-engineered plan to stop cross median crashes and they do.”
INDOT workers will head to the crash site to re-set the posts and re-tighten the cables affected by the crash in preparation for any future accidents.
Watch raw video taken from a passenger of the aftermath from inside the bus: