COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation released a statement on Friday in response to the lawsuit filed against them by the son of a woman who died after colliding with an X-Lite guardrail in April.
Charlotte Blankenship, 67, was driving her GMC Yukon on Interstate 26 when she crashed into the guardrail, which penetrated the vehicle, causing serious injury, according to the lawsuit.
SCDOT, in the below statement, defends the testing requirements utilized by the Federal Highway Administration for hardware designed for roadside safety, i.e. guardrails. The accused X-Lite guardrails were eligible for installation in September 2011 and the rail's safety eligibility was recently reviewed by FHWA in May 2017, according to SCDOT's statement.
SCDOT, however, says that they have suspended installation of new X-Lite rails on state highways due to "recent controversy" and will determine the future of existing rails after monitoring additional testing performed on the rails along with FHWA guidance.
The lawsuit seeks reparations from the Lindsay Corporation, Barrier Systems, and Bagwell Fence Company in addition to SCDOT.