Documents acquired by 13newsnow.com reveal that the Virginia Department of Transportation knew about a potential safety device malfunction but waited over a year to act on the information. Trinity Industries whistleblower Joshua Harman approached VDOT in January 2013 with information about an unauthorized design change the company had made to its ET-Plus, a highway guardrail end terminal. It wasn’t until May 2014 that VDOT contacted Trinity Industries requesting crash test documentation and other information.
Though the company responded the following month, they did not include crash test information in their reply. Documents show that VDOT did not follow up with Trinity Industries until October of this year, following an ABC Investigates story about the unauthorized changes to the ET-Plus. VDOT again requested crash test documentation, and when they did not receive an adequate response, the removed the device from their list of approved products.
Since the ban, VDOT has promised to find and remove all ET-Plus devices from the Commonwealth’s roads. Experts say this is more difficult than it sounds, since the department does not keep track of how many of the guardrail end terminals are installed or where they are located throughout the state. It is estimated that 96% of all guardrail heads on Virginia’s roads and highways are indeed Trinity designed.
Still, no real action has been taken to move forward in removing these from our roads.
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