Hannah Eimers, a teenager from eastern Tennessee, was killed instantly when the car she was driving left the Interstate and struck a guardrail in November 2016.
The guardrail reportedly speared the young girl’s car and stabbed her to death, and despite the tragedy, the state of Tennessee apparently expected the victim and her family to pay to fix it.
Eimers’ father, Steven, recently received a bill from the Tennessee Department of Transportation for nearly $3,000 needed to repair the guardrail that killed his daughter, according to WSMV.
“On the 31st of October, Hannah walked out of our house and we never saw her again. We never saw her again,” the father said. “The guardrail all together was a matter of inches, and Hannah was gone instantly.”
A few months later, because the 17-year-old girl was technically “at fault” in the crash, the state wanted her to pay $2,600 to install a new guardrail end terminal and $231 to get the highway safety device inspected, according to The Washington Post.
“It’s obscene,” Steven told The Post. “They will kill you and then they will bill you. The bill was absolutely tasteless … It’s almost comical. It’s like the most obscene comedy skit you can come up with.”
Although the grieving father was upset about the outrageous and insensitive bill he received from TDOT to repair the guardrail, he was more concerned about the fact that the department clearly knew that the device was faulty — and they knew it at the time his daughter was killed by it.
In fact, one week before Eimers’ death, TDOT had removed the guardrail end that she hit from their product list because of safety concerns regarding the device. Unfortunately for the teenager, however, the guardrails had not yet been removed from roadways when she had her fatal accident.
“TDOT made the decision, they knew it was dangerous, they knew it did not perform well at highway speeds, but chose to play Russian roulette with all of our lives, and my daughter Hannah paid with her life. That really, really bothers me a lot,” Eimers’ father said.
Even more bothersome was the fact that many of those guardrail ends have still not been removed.
“They left it in place and it killed my daughter, and those devices are still on this road today,” Steven said, referring to the 1,000 guardrail end pieces that can still be found on Tennessee roadways.
TDOT announced that it would be removing all of the faulty devices, according to WVLT. The agency also apologized for the bill it sent to Eimers’ family, saying it was a “terrible mistake.”
How do you mistakenly bill a deceased teenager for a faulty product — a product you knew was dangerous — that killed her?
Leave it to the government to do something this tasteless for money.
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