Your front-page story "Crash barrier" [News, Aug. 8], about the new cable barriers that separate lanes on the Long Island Expressway, jogged my memory of similar barriers that were installed on the LIE 30 years ago.
As a daily commuter between Huntington and Riverhead, I saw my fair share of accidents, some horrendous in nature; however, the ones involving the cable barriers were unique and stuck in my memory. I remember at least three occasions when I saw cars that had hit the cables in the center median and had at least one of the cables slide up and over the car, slicing through the windshield and through the passenger compartment.
They did their job of preventing the cars from reaching the oncoming traffic, which could have had more devastating consequences, but I still wonder about the fate of the occupants struck by the cables. Shortly after this series of accidents, the cables were removed.
I wonder if the design has been changed, although they look basically the same, and if the obvious benefits of preventing head-on collisions outweighed any known shortcomings of the cables. Regardless, I offer this advice; if anyone is going to hit one of these barriers, be prepared to duck.
Royal Reynolds, East Moriches