Deadly I-49 crossover crash was rare instance where median cable barriers failed according to MoDOT

CASS COUNTY, Mo. -- Two metro families are grieving after their loved ones were killed in a crash Tuesday night on I-49 in Cass County.

One of the vehicles involved was able to plow through the median cable barriers. The Missouri Department of Transportation says it's rare for that to occur.

Troopers say a car driven by 56-year-old Rodney Noble was heading south on the highway when he sideswiped a sedan driven by 17-year-old Gavin Cummons. Both cars ended up in the median. But Noble's car didn't stop. It busted right through the cable barrier, then slammed into a pick-up driven by 34-year-old Will Creamer. Noble and Creamer both died at the scene. The teen wasn't hurt.

MoDOT says cable barriers are designed to stop cars from making it to the wrong side of the road, and they've proven effective dozens of times.

"Since the early 2000s, we've installed over 800 miles of median guard cable on our MoDOT system. We estimated we've saved 45 to 50 lives per year in that time frame. Unfortunately, it's a rare occasion, but people can get through it in a rare situation," said Derek Olson, MoDOT district traffic engineer.

MoDOT says every mile of cable barriers cost about $100,000. But it's a price it feels is well worth it to save lives and limit the severity of many crashes.

FOX 4 reached out to the families of those involved in the crash. Rodney Noble's family members weren't ready to speak about their loss just yet.

Will Creamer's parents told us they are devastated. Will grew up in Massachusetts, but graduated from high school in Blue Springs after the family moved here several years ago. He was self-employed, doing a lot of work scrapping. They tell us he worked hard to support his family, including a long-time girlfriend and their two children, boys ages 4 and 9, who he loved deeply.

Creamer's family is grateful for the support of family and friends as they grieve, and are working to put together a Go Fund Me page to cover funeral expenses and to support his surviving children.

The surviving teen, Gavin Cummons, and his family, said they want to wait for the investigation to be completed before speaking publicly about the crash, but they know the 17-year-old is extremely lucky to have walked away from the horrific crash.

Meanwhile, state troopers are still investigating the crash and what might've led up to it.