A grieving father was stunned when he received a $3,000 bill to replace the guardrail that impaled his 17-year-old daughter’s car in a fatal crash last November.
Stephen Eimers of Loudon County, Tennessee, contends that the guardrail that killed his daughter, Hannah Eimers, was ‘defective,’ and, upon receiving the bill, lambasted the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for its ‘audacity.’
Mark Nagi, a spokesperson for the TDOT apologized, claiming the bill resulted from a processing mistake and assured the Eimers family that no money was due.
On Nov. 1, 2016, Hannah Eimers was driving on Interstate 75 North when her car veered towards the median and crashed into the end of a guardrail.
According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol accident report, the rail, which was supposed to collapse upon impact, remained rigid, piercing the driver’s side door and striking Hannah Eimers in the head and chest.
Her vehicle “took out approximately 15 to 20 feet of guardrail” before it stopped, with the rail remaining inside.
The report noted that Hannah was forced into the back seat of the vehicle and died instantly
Four months later, Stephen received a bill stating that Hannah owed the TDOT $2,970 — the replacement cost for 25 feet of guardrail.
Stephen Eimers was ‘flabbergasted’ by the bill, especially since the end piece of the guardrail had been removed from the TDOT’s list of qualified products one week prior to Hannah’s death.
“They had the audacity to send us a bill in her name for $3,000 for killing her,” Eimers told Local 8 News.
“That was a mistake,” said Nagi. “It never should have happened. We’ll take measures to make sure that never happens again.”
The Tennessean reported that the Lindsay X-LITE guard terminal was removed from the qualified product list on Oct. 25 following concerns regarding its performance “if impacted at higher speeds” of 62.2 m.p.h., or greater. The speed limit on I-75 is 70 m.p.h.
Nagi noted that the TDOT no longer installs the model, but that there are still about 1,000 remaining on the road.
Stephen Eimers said, “What bothers me is that they’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. They know these devices do not perform at high speeds and in situations like my daughter’s accident, but they leave them in place.”
Nagi said the department will start seeking a contractor to remove the guardrail terminal in areas where the speed limit exceeds 45 m.p.h. starting on Mar. 31, five months after its removal from the qualified products list.
H/T: Daily Mail
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