State Police said Maria Simonov-Romero was driving an SUV south on Interstate 81 on Thursday, when her car cross the median and went airborne, into the path of a tractor trailer.
Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation are explaining how the cable guard rail affected the collision.
The cable guard rail is relatively new; it was installed in 2009.
V-DOT is conducting their own investigation to see how the guard rail played a role.
State police revealed it prevented another crash from happening.
The barrier involved is the first of its kind installed in the Commonwealth.
The posts, connected by high tension cables, are meant to give more protection to keep vehicles from crossing the median.
The car however went airborne with the tires touching the top of the barrier.
After that, First Sergeant Pyanoe said that the barriers did do their job.
"As the impact occurred both vehicles went back into the median and the cable barrier actually prevented them from going back into the southbound lanes," said First Sgt. Pyanoe.
V-DOT has crews looking at how the cables performed during the collision.
First Sgt. Pyanoe said they are still trying to figure out what caused the crash, whether it was related to distraction or fatigue.
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