Almost four months after the death of a teenage girl, a father in Tennessee is flabbergasted for receiving a bill of $2,970 to replace the guardrail that killed his daughter.
Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father’s Volvo S80 on Interstate 75 North on November 01, when her car crossed the median and hit the end of a guardrail. However, instead of deflecting the vehicle, the end of the guardrail impaled the vehicle and the struck the teen in the chest and head, sending her into the back seat. According to a crash report by the Tennessee Highway patrol, the crash killed Hannah instantly.
On Feb 24, Steven Eimers received a letter addressed to his daughter, almost four months after her death. The letter contained a bill of $2,970 as payment for the damage caused to the guardrail.
Just a week before Hannah’s crash, the Tennessee Department of Transportation removed the guardrail end from its list of approved devices because of performance concerns in crashes excess of 62 miles per hour.
What bewilders the distraught father is that the Department of Transportation had the audacity to send a bill to repair a device that is no longer considered safe by the government body itself.
“I’m shocked,” Eimers told a local newspaper. “The audacity. 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.”
A spokesman for the agency, Mark Nagi, said around 1000 guardrail ends are still on state roads. However, they won’t be used in new projects. Transportation officials will reportedly start accepting bids for a contract to remove most of the existing guardrails at locations where the speed limit exceeds 45 miles per hour. The speed limit where Hannah crashed is reported to be 70mph.
Following media attention, the Tennessee state spokesman, Nagi, clarified in a statement to the press that the bill was sent in error, as a result of a “mistake somewhere in processing.” He further explained that the Eimers family will not be liable to pay for damages and another letter will soon be sent to clarify the incident further.