The state of Tennessee billed the grieving family of Hannah Eimers, a 17-year-old who was killed when her car struck the terminal end of a guardrail on I-74 in Tennessee. Four months after young Hannah was dead and buried, the state wants her family to pay for the repair of the guardrail that her survivors say killed her. 
 
On Facebook, Stephen Eimers -- Hannah’s father -- wrote that “The guardrail failed to perform properly and penetrated Hanah’s car, causing her death.” The elder Eimers claimed that the offending guardrail, which was manufactured by the Lindsay Corporation, was no longer on fht procurement list used by Tennessee Department of Transportation because of its perceived poor performance. 
 
Eimers wrote on Facebook: “Although TDOT [Tennessee Department of Transportation] saw reason to ban the purchase and installation of this unit they chose to leave the existing units in place.” He added, "TDOT CHOSE TO PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH PEOPLE'S LIVES, AND HANNAH PAID WITH HER LIFE."
 
"TDOT actually had the audacity to send Hannah a bill for the damage to this deadly device that caused her death," Eimers wrote.
 
TDOT claims that the letter was sent mistakenly to the Eimers family. An apology has since been sent, including instructions that they should not pay the invoice. The guardrail end terminal at the place of Hannah’s death has been replaced, while similar guardrail end terminals will be removed this spring.

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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