Tennessee saddles dead teen with cost of replacing guardrail that killed her

Tennessee saddles dead teen with cost of replacing guardrail that killed her
Hannah Elmers (Image: Steven Eimers via Knoxville News Sentinel)

[Ed. – Adding insult to injury]

A Loudon County [Tenn.] man is advocating for changes after the Tennessee Department of Transportation billed his dead daughter nearly $3,000 to replace the guardrail that killed her in a car crash last November.

In addition to refusing to pay the bill, Steven Eimers alleges the model of guardrail end involved in his daughter Hannah’s death is “horribly designed” and dangerous, and that “the culture at TDOT is more concerned with making up catchy slogans than actual safety.”

TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi said the bill was the result of “a mistake somewhere in processing,” and that TDOT “greatly apologizes for it.” The Eimers family does not have to pay, and another letter is being sent to explain the error, Nagi said.

Around 5:44 a.m. Nov. 1, Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father’s 2000 Volvo S80 on Interstate 75 North near Niota when the car left the road, traveled into the median and hit the end of the guardrail with the driver’s side door, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol crash report.

Instead of deflecting the car or buckling to absorb the impact, the guardrail end impaled the vehicle…. She died instantly.

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