Two years ago, a man from Lake County, Florida, swerved to avoid hitting an animal in the road. The split second decision sent his pickup truck careening into a guardrail.
It also cost his passenger a leg.
WTFTV 9 reports that the rail malfunctioned and impaled the pickup truck, slicing the passenger’s leg down to the bone. Injuries were so severe that the leg had to be amputated, and the man is still struggling to recover.
Highway guardrails are designed to crumple in the event of an impact. When a vehicle hits, the structure crumples to absorb the force of the blow. In this case, the guardrail instead remained stiff and pierced the vehicle. Following the case, the man’s lawyer found that this may be a problem across the state. The Florida Department of Transportation has apparently been using inmates to repair the guardrails.
There are two problems with the guardrails: first, incorrect parts were used to replace them. Second, workers installed the parts incorrectly. To make matters worse, the guardrail was reinstalled improperly again after the accident.
Though not named in this case, 14 other guardrail-related deaths around the country have been linked to guardrails from Trinity Highway Products. These guardrails malfunction in a similar fashion due to an unapproved design change, shrinking the metal at the end from five inches to four.
The guardrail model in question – the ET-Plus – was recently approved for retesting.
Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?
Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this untested guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323