Early one morning in November 2014, a popular 17-year-old senior left her South Carolina home – and never returned. Her family didn’t know where she was headed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, and they don’t know why she didn’t follow the highway’s sharp curve. What they can say with some certainty is that had a guardrail been positioned around that curve, she may not have careened off the road, down an embankment and head-on into a cluster of trees.
She died on the scene of blunt force trauma to her head. Her family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state’s Department of Transportation, alleging the agency was negligent in failing to erect a guardrail that could have saved her life.
Authorities with the state declined to comment on the pending lawsuit, which accuses officials with the agency of knowing a guardrail was needed, but failing to act. Coincidentally, the family’s lawsuit was filed the same week as National Teen Driver Safety Week. Continue reading →