LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - By now you’ve seen the cell phone video. It’s dramatic from the start; a motorist slamming in the cable guard rail on Interstate 85 South just as President Trump’s motorcade was making its way up 85 North to see the tornado damage firsthand in Lee County last Friday.
It was captured by Ike Scott who was about 100 feet away off the interstate.
“Oh my gosh! Did y’all see that?" Scott could be heard on the video talking to friends.
“My audio probably said it all. I was stunned," Scott said.
What are the odds of this happening; the President of the United States and his Secret Service team speeding down the interstate with a potential head-on collision. The head driver never made any quick maneuver moves and just kept going.
“The vehicle was probably going to be airborne into the motorcade," said Scott.
Tony Harris was not surprised by the effectiveness of the cable railing.
“That cable barrier certainly prevented that vehicle from crossing over into the oncoming traffic which happened to be at that moment.. on that day the presidential motorcade. They’re almost always fatal," said Harris, public relations director for the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The state started placing the railings in medians about 20 years ago. It’s not clear why the driver in the video lost control. We’re told, though, she was not injured.
ALDOT leaders say just one mile of the cable guard railing cost in the neighborhood of $250,000.
“We more than cut in half the fatalities on interstate highways from cross median crashes," said Harris.
It’s a story Ike Scott will never forget and one he’ll tell his grandchildren about one day. The story of what actually happened and what could’ve been had the protective guard rail not been there.
“I was immediately thankful,” Scott said.
WSFA 12 News learned the Secret Service did make contact with the driver in question and the case is now closed.