Hannah Eimers was killed when a Lindsay X-LITE impaled her car, striking her in the head and chest. (Photo: WBIR)
At least four people in Tennessee have been killed in crashes involving a controversial model of guardrail endcap since 2016, per state records. At the center of this controversy is the Lindsay X-LITE guardrail terminal, which TDOT removed from their approved list of devices back in October 2016, citing “concerns about potential long-term performance issues” when struck at speeds greater than 45 mph. Guardrail terminals are designed to redirect the end of the rail away from cars in the event of a crash. However, some are raising concerns that thousands of devices installed on Tennessee roads can malfunction, skewering the car.
Questions of the X-LITE s safety came to light after Hannah Eimers struck one in the early morning hours of Nov. 1. The 17-year-old was driving along I-75 North in McMinn County when her vehicle left the road. The guard rail impaled the car, striking Eimers in the head and chest. She died instantly, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol crash report.
The bill Hannah’s parents recieved after her death, for the damage to the guard rail on I-75 in McMinn Co. (Photo: WBIR)
“That bill was tasteless,” Stephen Eimers said. “But the real travesty is that TDOT knew that they had a dangerous device on the road. They left it in place and it killed my daughter. And those devices are still on this road today.”
Hannah’s father, Stephen Eimers, recieved a bill for nearly $3000 from TDOT following his daugher’s fatal crash. (Photo: WBIR)
TDOT has apologized for the “processing error,” and said the family does not need to pay the bill. Stephen Eimers told 10News has is now represented by the law firm Cohen Milstein and is considering legal action.
The department estimates about 1,000 Lindsay X-LITEs are installed statewide. At least 3 other people have been killed in crashes where the X-Lite penetrated their vehicle in the last 15 months, according to TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi and data from the Tennessee Department of Homeland Safety and Security. On June 29, 2016, two people were killed on I-40 E in Cumberland County after an X-LITE penetrated their vehicle.
On July 2, 2016, one person was killed near the I-75/I-24 interchange in Hamilton County. Again, an X-LITE terminal pierced the vehicle. In both cases, the damaged rail was replaced with another X-LITE terminal, Nagi said. After Hannah Eimers’ death, and SKT-SP was installed. The X-LITE is not the only guard rail terminal used in Tennessee with a questionable safety record. In 2015, Trinity Industries lost a $663 million lawsuit involved the ET Plus rail endcap. The company was accused of modifying the design without notifying the Federal Highway Administration. Critics said the change made the caps more dangerous, and more likely to impale a car that struck them.
An ET Plus guard rail on I-75. The company that makes the ET Plus lost a $663 million lawsuit in 2015, following claims the devices were not safe. (Photo: WBIR)
This led Virginia to implement a risk-based assessment program to replace terminals that might contribute to more severe crashes. VDOT found four vehicles that had been pierced by modified ET Plus terminals from October 2014 to July 2015. TDOT estimates 21,000 ET Plus endcaps are installed statewide. Any number of them could be the modified design. TDOT has decided to remove any X-LITE devices installed on roads with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or greater. This is most of the terminals, Nagi said.
The bidding for this contract will begin March 31. Nagi was not able to give a cost estimate or timeline for the project, though he anticipates work may begin in late spring to early summer.
Grieving family billled for guardrail in fatal wreck
Here s our roundup of the best and brightest stories this morning.
Ramping up construction: Notre-Dame-de-Gr ce is getting all-new access to the D carie, thanks to plans to construct an on-ramp just west of Prud homme Ave. This will connect St-Jacques St. with Highway 15 northbound. Officials say this plan will be realized by the time the Turcot Interchange reconstruction project is completed on deadline in 2020. Those fond of the plan say it ll help mitigate traffic issues that have affected eastern N.D.G since the superhospital opened on the Glen site. Councillor Peter McQueen was cautiously optimistic about the sketches: It s still not a full engineering drawing, but it looks more serious.
A also stands for awesome: Brianna Hoops Green brought the Harlem Globetrotters version of hoop dreams to Westmount High School, but not before giving the enrapt students a brief pep talk about the ABCs of bullying prevention: A stands for action, B stands for bravery, C stands for compassion, she said, revealing that she herself had been picked on, growing up. I would hear it but I didn t let it affect me. If I had let them hold me back or get in my head, I wouldn t be as successful as I am today.
The Big Maple Leaf on display at Berlin s Bode Museum. Thieves stole the gold coin with a face value of $1 million on March 27, 2017. MARCEL METTELSIEFEN / AFP/Getty Images
If only Spider-Man had been there: Burglars stole a 100-kilogram, solid-gold coin worth $4 million from a Berlin museum in a heist out of a Hollywood movie. A security guard at the Bode Museum alerted police that the coin which carries Queen Elizabeth II s imprint and is called Big Maple Leaf had been removed from its case. The perpetrators were able to circumvent the alarm system. A ladder that might have been used in the plot was found on nearby train tracks. The coin, which was on loan from a private owner and had been on display since 2007 is as big as a car tire and was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007.
But Spider-Man was here: Sony Pictures unveiled the second trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming at CinemaCon, featuring Tom Holland, the newly anointed web-slinger, being put in his place by Robert Downey Jr. s more seasoned Tony Stark. The film, out July 7, picks up with Holland s Peter Parker returning to high school after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and wanting to immediately get back into the action as a new threat emerges from Michael Keaton s Vulture. Other movies teased at the con were Blade Runner 2049, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower.
Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press, Associated Press
ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, PA
A woman experienced a dressing room nightmare. Advertisement
On March 25 around 7 p.m., Heather Lipinski says she was trying on bathing suits in the fitting room at Macy’s at the Mall at Robinson.
“I did not even have the top put on fully, and I noticed this phone,” said Lipinski.
Lipinski says the phone stuck out of a pocket on the floor, so she reached down for it.
“I grabbed it, and he came underneath and grabbed it out of my hand,” said Lipinski. Startled, she peered out the door and told a nearby associate.
Lipinski added, “My biggest fear is he has me naked on his phone.”
Mall security showed her surveillance video. Lipinski says it shows a man rushing out of the dressing rooms and out of the mall to his car in the parking lot.
“The mall security guard came in and saw the guy and was like, oh that’s our guy,” said Lipinski.
Robinson Township police released a still image from that surveillance video hoping someone can identify him.
Lipinski shared her experience on Facebook to warn other women. Since Saturday, it has been shared more than 2,000 times. Another young woman reached out to Lipinski on Facebook to let her know the same thing happened to her. Hannah Chauvet described an experience similar to Lipinski’s – a cellphone peeking out of a pocket. The only difference is that she says it happened in a fitting room in the Forever 21 at the Mall at Robinson on Feb. 8, 2016. Chauvet just turned 18 but says she was only 16 at the time. Lipinski wants it to stop.
“I am not OK,” said Lipinski. “No, I am not going to let it go. I am not going to let it go until they find him.”
The Mall at Robinson released this statement: “The safety of our customers and associates is our top priority. As a company we do not comment or provide any additional information on ongoing investigations. Please contact the local Robinson Township Police Department with any questions.”
Macy’s released this statement: “TheMall at Robinson s top priority is to ensure a pleasant and safe shoppingexperience for all of our guests. We are cooperating with RobinsonTownship Police Department regarding an incident inside Macy s Department Storeon March 25.”
WEBVTT ED CLOTHING ON IN THEMALL.SHANNON: HERE IS PITTSBURGH’SACTION NEWS 4 ALYSSA RAYMOND.ALYSSA: A WOMAN SHARED HEREXPERIENCE ON FACEBOOK TO WARNOTHER WOMEN.IT HAS SINCE BEEN SHARED MORETHAN 2000 TIMES, AND NOW WE ARELEARNING SHE IS NOT THE ONLY ONETHAT EXPERIENCED THIS EXACT SAMETHING AT THE SMALL.HEATHER: MY BIGGEST FEAR IS HEHAS ME NAKED ON HIS PHONE.ALYSSA: ON SATURDAY, HEATHERLIPINSKI WALKED INTO A FITTINGROOM IN MACY’S AT THE MALL ATROBINSON AND STARTED TRYING ONBATHING SUITS.HEATHER: I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THETOP PUT ON FULLY, AND I NOTICEDTHIS PHONE.LIPINSKI SAYS THE PHONE STUCKOUT OF A POCKET, SO SHE REACHEDDOWN FOR IT.HEATHER: I GRABBED IT, AND HECAME UNDERNEATH AND GRABBED ITOUT OF MY HAND.ALYSSA: STARTLED, SHE PEERED OUTTHE DOOR AND TOLD A NEARBYASSOCIATE.MALL SECURITY SHOWED HERSURVEILLANCE VIDEOLIPINSKI SAYS IT SHOWED A MANRUSHING OUT OF THE DRESSINGROOMS AND OUT OF THE MALL TO HISCAR IN THE PARKING LOT.ROBINSON TOWNSHIP POLICERELEASED THIS STILL IMAGE,HOPING SOMEONE RECOGNIZES HIM.HEATHER: THE MALL SECURITY GUARDCAME IN AND SAW THE GUY AND WASLIKE, “OH THAT’S OUR GUY.”ALYSSA: ANOTHER WOMAN REACHEDOUT TO LIPINSKI TO LET HER KNOWTHE SAME THING HAPPENED TO HER.SHE SHARED THIS PICTURE WITH USTAKEN ON FEBRUARY 8, 2016 FROM ADRESSING ROOM IN FOREVER 21 INTHE MALL AT ROBINSON.SAME DEAL — A CELL PHONEPEEKING OUT OF A POCKET.SHE SAYS SHE WAS 16 AT THE TIME.LIPINSKI WANTS IT TO STOP.HEATHER: I’M NOT OKTHEY’RE GOING TO CONTINUE –“LET US GO.”NO, I’M NOT GOING TO LET IT GO.I’M NOT GOING TO LET IT GO UNTILTHEY FIND HIM.ALYSSA: THE MALL RELEASED ASTATEMENT TO US, SAYING SAFETY