Hannah’s tragic death and the state’s callousness has been going viral on Twitter.
Father Steven Eimers received a $2,970 bill from the Tennessee Department of Transportation in February. It was addressed to Hannah seeking payment for labor and materials to replace the 25 feet of guardrail damaged by the crash.
“I’m shocked, the audacity,” Eimers told The Knoxville News Sentinel. “What bothers me is that they’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.”
Eimers later learned that the guardrail was defective, based on a design the state transportation department stopped using just one week before the accident.
“They know these devices do not perform at high speeds and in situations like my daughter’s accident, but they leave them in place,” the grieving dad said.
She was driving on Interstate 75 northbound near Niota, Tenn., a tiny hamlet of less than 1,000 people about 56 miles south of Knoxville.
She was behind the wheel of her father’s 2000 Volvo S80 when the car inexplicably left the road at around 5:44 a.m. on Nov. 1.
It slid into the median and struck the end of the guardrail on the driver’s side door, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol crash report.
The guardrail crashed through the car door, slammed Hannah and drover her into the back seat. Death was instantaneous.
For its part, Mark Nagi a spokesman for Tennessee DOT said the bill was a “mistake” for which the department “greatly apologizes.” for it,” spokesman Mark Nagi said. Another letter is being sent to explain the error.
The speed limit is 70mph where Hannah died and the guardrails were found in tests to fail in accidents at speeds over 60mph, Nagi said.
Eimers said he is lobbying officials to remove and replace all of the state’s dangerous guardrails.
“I’ve got to be able to look the next mom or dad in the eye and say, ‘I tried to make some changes,” he said.
Check out the video below.