Teen Killed by Defective Guard Rail Billed for the Damage Months Later

roadside guardrailA 17-year-old girl who died after her car collided with a guardrail was recently billed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to replace the defective device that killed her.

The girl’s father discovered the invoice that was addressed to his deceased daughter. It claimed she was at fault for the accident and owed TDOT nearly $3,000 for the damage to the guardrail.

A summary of the bill showed that the deceased teen owed $2,600 to install a new guardrail end terminal and an additional $231 to get the device highway safety inspected.

The TDOT has issued an apology to the victim’s family and stated that the bill was mistakenly sent to the teen.

Fatal Accident Involving Defective Guardrail

The fatal crash that claimed the 17-year-old’s life happened on Nov. 1, 2016 when she was driving to school in her father’s Volvo on Interstate 75 in McMinn County.

Her vehicle left the road and, as she attempted to correct herself, struck a Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminal on the driver’s side.

The guardrail impaled the car and struck the teen in the head and chest, killing her instantly, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The victim’s father is a client of Greg Coleman Law and has been outspoken against the X-LITE guardrail terminal. He has stated that if the guardrail had not been there, his daughter would still be alive.

Deadly Defect in Guardrail Terminal

Guardrail end terminals are designed to absorb some of the initial impact of a colliding vehicle and redirect the end of the rail away from it during a crash.

However, the guardrail involved in the fatal accident, an X-LITE developed by the Lindsay Corp., raised concerns with traffic safety groups when it was discovered the guardrail’s end did not buckle to absorb the impact as intended.

TDOT removed the X-LITE end terminal from the state’s qualified-products list on Oct. 25, 2016, only days before the 17-year-old’s fatal accident, citing issues with device’s long-term performance.

Lindsay X-LITE Guardrail has Caused Multiple Deaths

The fatal accident last November was not the first fatal collision involving the Lindsay X-LITE.

At least three other people in the last 15 months have been killed in fatal auto accidents after their vehicle was penetrated by a guardrail during a collision, according to TDOT.

Two people were killed on I-40 E in Cumberland County after their vehicle was penetrated by the X-LITE guardrail on June 29, 2016.

Another person died three days later on July 2, 2016 near the I-75/I-24 interchange in Hamilton County when an X-Lite end terminal impaled the vehicle.

After each collision, the damaged X-LITE end terminal was replaced by another version of the same defective traffic device.

Following the fatal collision in November, TDOT stated that it will replace all X-LITE guardrails on roads with speed limits over 45 mph beginning March 31, 2017.

TDOT estimates that 1,000 Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminals are still present throughout Tennessee.

X-LITE Guardrail Lawsuit

The Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminal is a dangerous device that threatens the safety of drivers throughout Tennessee. While TDOT is taking steps to remove and replace the X-LITE, there are still many present along the state’s roadways.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto collision involving a Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminal, you may be able to file an X-LITE lawsuit to seek justice and compensation.

At Greg Coleman Law, we are dedicated to defending the rights of those who have suffered because of another’s negligence. We can discuss the circumstances surrounding your claim during a free consultation. Our Knoxville personal injury attorneys also work only on a contingency fee basis, which means we will only charge you if we recover damages for your claim.

Do not hesitate to seek legal help. Call (865) 247-0080.