Edmond man hits barrier truck, dies

Eric R. Guevarra, 33, of Edmond died at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at OU Medical Center, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY Modified: September 23, 2010 at 8:11 am •  Published: September 23, 2010

A spot on Interstate 40 where impact-absorbing barriers have been placed to keep motorists from hitting a concrete overpass wall has proved to be a dangerous place in recent days.

There have been three wrecks since Saturday at the juncture of I-40 and Interstate 35 just east of Eastern Avenue, including one crash that claimed the life of an Edmond man.

Eric R. Guevarra, 33, crashed his car into what is known as a mobile impact attenuator, a truck with steel traffic barriers that are intended to help cushion the blow if struck by another vehicle.

The impact truck was supposed to make the spot safer, said Rick Lowry, state Department of Transportation manager.

"There was really not much else that we could do," Lowry said. He said motorists need to be protected from the concrete wall.

About 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Guevarra was driving east on I-40 when he slammed into the truck, which was legally parked in a safety zone, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report. Guevarra, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pinned in his car and freed by Oklahoma City firefighters before he was taken by ambulance to OU Medical Center.

Guevarra died at the hospital at 5:30 a.m., the patrol reported. He suffered head, neck, arm and internal injuries.

The patrol report lists the cause of the crash as inattention. The impact truck was parked in an area of white, diagonally striped pavement that starts about 150 feet from the wall. Motorists are not supposed to travel in the safety zone, said Capt. Chris West, patrol spokesman.

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