Cables keep truck of cows from crossing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2009

A just-installed safety barrier performed as designed Wednesday night, keeping a cattle-laden semi that careened off Interstate 20 out of oncoming traffic.

“It was storming really bad. The driver said he saw lights coming at him from the eastbound lanes as he went into the median,” said police Sgt. Jackie Johnson. “He slid a good 75 to 100 feet, and bounced off the cables. They prevented him from going over into the eastbound lanes and hitting someone head on.”

The truck remained in the highway median overnight and clearing continued this morning.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The truck with 83 steers in the trailer skidded off the highway about 11:30. No people or cattle were injured. The median barrier was added by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, starting in December.

Police shut down both westbound lanes of I-20 this morning for approximately 35 minutes beginning at 7:20 a.m. to allow a wrecker to tow away the semi.  

Work began in November along the Vicksburg corridor of 1-20 on the cable barriers that were credited with preventing at least 13 head-on collisions along Jackson’s I-220 after just three months of being installed in August 2008.

Johnson said the semi was driven by 67-year-old J.R. Pickett of McComb, Okla. No citations were issued, he said. Pickett was en route to Santana, Kan., from Romeo, Fla., said Johnson.

A head-on collision on I-20 between Bovina and Flowers killed two Warren County teens Friday night. That wreck occurred after 19-year-old Justin Ferguson, 367 Rollingwood Drive, who was eastbound, apparently lost control of his car and crossed the median, hitting a westbound car and ramming it into an westbound 18-wheeler. The truck driver was not injured.

Kimberly Graves, 28, 1525 South St., was driving the westbound car, and was treated and released from River Region Medical Center. Varian Hutchison, 17, 1951 U.S. 80., who was a passenger in Ferguson’s car, was also killed. They were the third and fourth traffic fatalities in the county this year. No fatal wrecks have occurred inside the city.


Contact Steve Sanoski at