Guardrails are installed along highways to help save lives. There are at least a couple of Charlotte-area families who wonder if the safety devices do more harm than good.
Photos taken after a recent car crash on Interstate 77 show that mangled guardrails penetrated the front end of a vehicle. News reports said that one person was hospitalized following the single-vehicle wreck in Huntersville.
A spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said the rail in the crash was an X-Lite guardrail - the same rail at the center of several personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits around the country. The lawsuits allege that the X-Lite, made by the Lindsay Corporation of Omaha, Nebraska, is flawed and at fault for deaths and injuries.
A Gastonia family has filed one of those lawsuits. Ladeana and Wayne Gambill say that the X-Lite guardrail pierced the car their 21-year-old daughter was riding in two years ago and killed her.
Said Ladeana Gambill, "It's just horrific to think about something that's supposed to protect you actually goes through cars and does more injury than if nothing had been in place."
Her daughter, Lauren Beuttel, was a passenger in a car on Interstate 40 in Tennessee when the vehicle crashed into the rail.
Looking at a photo of the recent crash north of Charlotte, she said the X-Lite "just skewers through a car."
If you have lost a loved one or been injured in a motor vehicle crash, speak with an attorney experienced in wrongful death and personal injury litigation.