Driver lucky to be alive after car impaled by guardrail - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Driver lucky to be alive after car impaled by guardrail

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A woman facing DUI charges is lucky to be alive after her car was impaled by a guardrail early Thursday morning.

According to police, 21-year-old Susy Galvan was driving a gray Nissan Sentra southbound on Interstate ­805 on the transition road to southbound State Route 163 at about 5:25 a.m., when the vehicle drifted to the left, onto the ice plants and collided head-on into a metal guardrail.

The guardrail went through the engine compartment of the car, into the passenger area and out the back window. Galvan was able to exit the vehicle on her own and was arrested shortly after the crash on suspicion of DUI.

Galvan, who suffered minor injuries, was booked into the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility. Her bail was set at $2,500.

California Highway Patrol officers on the scene expressed shock and said if that guardrail had entered Galvan's car just a few inches over, she may not have survived.

"First time I've seen it. It is very, very unique," said CHP Officer Tony Contreras.

Work crews spent hours clearing the wreckage and by the afternoon there was a new guardrail in place.

While impairment and speeding are likely factors in the crash, questions have been raised about the quality of the guardrails. CBS News 8 found several cases of other vehicles that have been impaled nationwide and further learned that more than a dozen states have banned a specific guardrail because of the dangers they pose.

The guardrails involved in some of the accidents across the country are made by a company called Trinity Industries, which has been at the center of various lawsuits.
     
CBS News 8 has not confirmed the manufacturer of the guardrail involved in Thursday morning’s accident on I-805. Calls made to Caltrans regarding the guardrail have not been returned.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. 

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