The news of roadway upgrades is bittersweet for a Shreveport mother whose daughter was killed just five months ago in an accident on Interstate 20.
Louisiana officials said cable barriers, which would prevent the type of accident from five months ago, are on the way.
Officials from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced plans March 11 to install life-saving cable barriers along I-20 in North Louisiana, first in Bossier and Webster parishes. Eventually, the barriers will extend from the Texas state line to Ouachita Parish.
The announcement comes just three months after KSLA News 12 began investigating the lack of cable barriers in North Louisiana.
KSLA has an emotional reaction to the announcement from the mother of the teen killed on I-20.
Kelly Hatfield struggles her way through the holidays, still heartbroken that her daughter, Megan, was taken away.
Megan and her friend, Arien Manshack, were killed when their car crossed the center median and crashed head-on into oncoming traffic near Haughton.
Neighboring Texas has installed nearly 1,000 miles of life-saving cable barrier to prevent cross-over accidents, but Louisiana has only a few dozen miles of it near Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Some $5 million will be spent to install these barriers across Bossier and Webster parishes.
Hatfield reacted to the news: "That's all I wanted. ... I'd like to see them everywhere, prevent family to lose a child. It's worth it."
KSLA also talked with the mother of the young man, Jonathon, who survived the accident. She revealed his daily struggle to overcome his injuries and about what a difference life and death can make.
Rebecca Bartley says Jonathon is a fighter.
"His personality, everything is there. We just need to work on getting everything out."
Jonathon was in the back seat of the vehicle when the driver lost control, crossed the median and hit an 18-wheeler. His two friends in the front seat didn't make it. Jonathon was left virtually unrecognizable.
"When I tell people he was broke from head to toe, he was literally broke from head to toe," Bartley says.
With support from family and physical therapy twice a week, Jonathon continues to recover.
Says Bartley about the barriers: "Something good and great is going to come out of this one than the heartache."
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