Albany, NY – Marking another victory in the effort to remove all remaining units of the potentially deadly X-Lite guardrail products from New York State’s roadways, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – 57th District) announced today that she has secured $375,000 in funding to reimburse localities for the cost of removal and replacement of the guardrail systems on municipal roads.
“We achieved a critical victory in January with the New York State Department of Transportation’s announcement that it was heeding the calls of Stephen Eimers and myself to remove dangerous X-Lite guardrail systems from our state highways. That hard-fought goal was driven by the most devastating event imaginable: Mr. Eimers’ precious daughter Hannah was tragically killed by this defective product when her car struck a guardrail on I-75 in Tennessee. Instead of re-directing the car as it should have, the guardrail broke apart and speared the cabin of the car, killing Hannah instantly. When he shared his story and research about the dangers of this product, I knew it was crucial we rid our roadways of this menace,” said Senator Young.
“Today represents the next and final step towards our goal of 100 percent removal of X-Lite systems from New York’s roadways. Providing this funding will help ensure localities can remove these deadly devices from local roads, without letting cost considerations serve as an obstacle or reason to delay.”
“I stated in January that our work would not end until every X-Lite unit was removed from every roadway in New York. That commitment drove my fight for this funding. As we approach the home stretch of this effort, I am enormously grateful to Stephen Eimers for his selfless and tireless advocacy. He has helped prevent untold numbers of injuries and deaths in states across the nation, and now, in New York. Everything that he has achieved honors Hannah’s memory.”
"The X-Lite is inherently defective and deadly. When impacted there is an extreme risk of death or critical injury. This funding in New York is a bold statement and shows New York's intentions of leading nationally on highway safety. I have no doubt that Senator Young's leadership on this issue has saved a family in New York from sharing in the horror that Lindsay has inflicted on dozens of other families across our nation," said Stephen Eimers.
In November 2016, Hannah Eimers, who was born on September 11, 1999 in Fredonia, was killed in a heartbreaking accident in Tennessee when her vehicle left Interstate 75, crossed into the median and struck the guardrail. Instead of performing as intended by re-directing the car on impact, the guardrail broke apart, penetrating the cabin of the car, killing Hannah instantly.
Because of the accident, Stephen Eimers has become a national spokesperson for highway safety and a staunch advocate for the removal of the X-Lite guardrail systems from roadways.
Mr. Eimers has traveled the country speaking about safety and developing a list of fatalities that resulted from flaws in the X-Lite system. To date, he has identified approximately 25 deaths involving the X-Lite around the nation and several horrific amputations.
New York is one of a growing list of states who have removed or are in the process of removing X-Lite guardrail systems from their roadways. States who have removed or made the decision to remove the units include Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Dozens more have removed X-Lite from their approved product lists.
In January at the Joint Budget Hearing on Transportation, Department of Transportation Commissioner Paul Karas announced that the agency was moving ahead to remove the potentially deadly X-Lite guardrail products from New York State highways. He noted that 43 locations in the highway system were identified as having X-Lite products and all were slated for removal by the end of the year. That work is complete.