Two years ago, Cathy and Mark Alonzo’s daughter, Isabella, was killed at the age of 18 as a result of a “Frankensteined” guardrail that penetrated her car and impaled her as she was driving on I-75 in Peach County. Now, the grieving parents are warning others of the danger of the guardrails as they also seek compensation from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for the wrongful death of their daughter.
A “Frankensteined” guardrail refers to a guardrail made of mixed parts provided by different manufacturers. An investigation by the news station 11Alive revealed at least two of this type of guardrail on I-75 and another on I-285. GDOT issued a statement noting that the guardrails found by the investigative news team that the three defective guardrails discovered were scheduled to be replaced, but that the department doesn’t feel that the issue is widespread. The department added that they are working with their employees as well as contractors to ensure that guardrails are installed in accordance with state and federal guidelines. The department’s statement also encouraged citizens to report hazardous infrastructure features so they can review the issue and repair it if necessary.
11Alive investigators also discovered that there were as many as 300 X-Lite guardrails installed on Georgia roadways, which are the subject of of multiple wrongful death lawsuits across the nation. Another parent who lost a daughter as a result of an accident in Tennessee involving an X-Lite guardrail stated that his state removed all X-Lite guardrails from the roadways, as did a number of other states. However, Georgia did not. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) noted that the X-Lite system no longer meets current crashworthiness standards. The manufacturer of the guardrails stated that their product was safe, but the X-Lite guardrails are no longer manufactured. Some of the guardrails have been replaced in Georgia as a result of the investigation.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of a hazardous road feature, let us help you explore your legal options for obtaining compensation for your injury or loss. Contact us for a free case evaluation.