3 years later, guardrail system involved in Tennessee teen’s death removed statewide

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Father continues effort to get guardrail system removed nationwide

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) – An East Tennessee father continues his mission on highway safety, at the heart of it is his teenage daughter.

In November 2016, 17-year old Hannah Eimers was killed in a crash involving an X-Lite guardrail end terminal.

Her father, Steve Eimers, has traveled to Nashville, Washington D.C. and all over the country pleading for new legislation and the removal of X-Lite guardrails.

MORE: Lenoir City dad pushing for legislation against improper installation of guardrails

In 2017, the decision was made by TDOT to remove and replace all X-Lite guardrails across the state after crashes, safety concerns, and other information.

MORE: Delaware DOT bans X-Lite terminals citing crashes in Tennessee

As of July 15, 2018 all X-Lite guardrail end terminals were replaced. TDOT says there were approximately 2,000 of these devices.

MORE: TDOT working to remove X-Lite guardrails by June 2018

“It is nice to be able to drive and we’re not going to see the X-Lite,” said Eimers, who lives in Lenoir City, Tennessee.

Eimers says he’s continuing his mission, “There’s only eight U.S. states that have not committed to replacing the deadly and defective X-Lite from the roadside. We’re going to get those off the roadside.”

X-Lite guardrails are made by a Nebraska-based company, Lindsay Corporation. In a statement sent to our newsroom on Tuesday, they say:

“The Federal Highway Administration has examined and re-examined the X-LITE and its in-service performance and has gathered input from state departments of transportation across the country. In F-H-W-A’s evaluations, the X-LITE has performed consistently with other end terminals on U.S. roads and highways. Numerous states that use the X-LITE on their roads have confirmed that they’ve had no negative experiences.”

– Lindsay Transportation Solutions

Eimers is also working with lawmakers on legislation at a federal level that will require having third-party verification at crash test results and efforts to mitigate conflicts of interest in testing.

After Hannah’s death, Eimers says he started asking questions and opened Pandora’s box, “There were things that Tennessee DOT could have done that prevented this from ever happening, however, to respond to what happened on our roadside and remove these, that is unprecedented, that doesn’t typically happen.”

This father carries thousands of pages of documents from his research as he tries saving another family’s child.

“I hope that she would be honored by it. What really drives me is I believe in the inherent transcendent value of life. The belief that life has value,” said Eimers.

Hannah Eimers: A servant’s heart

At just 17 years old, Hannah Eimers was beginning her career at the gospel radio station. Friends and family members say she was sweet, talented and an extraordinary young woman.

MORE: Family, friends honor life of Lenoir City teen killed in wreck

Hannah was the oldest of nine children. Her parents saying she was a brilliant teenager “with a servant’s heart.” She started at Pellissippi State Community College at 15.

The film, The Last Movie Star, was loosely based on Burt Reynolds’ life, filmed entirely in Knoxville. One of the many learning from Reynolds on set was Hannah. At the film’s premiere, the Eimers family learned it had been dedicated to her.

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