Steve Eimers bought a $1,000 pregame Super Bowl ad from a West Palm Beach, Fla., affiliate in hopes that President Trump would see it from his home in Mar-a-Lago.
“President Trump,” Eimers says while looking directly into the camera, “your concerns about guardrail spearing are legitimate.”
In the the 30-second PSA, Eimers brings to light the death of his daughter in a highway accident involving a Lindsay X-LITE guardrail.
Hannah Eimers was driving to school one day in 2016 and lost control of her father’s Volvo. The car skidded off the road and struck a guardrail on the driver’s side door. Instead of crumpling on impact, however, the guardrail pierced the door and impaled Hannah, killing her instantly.
“Nothing prepares you to be the parent of a dead child. And to discover that, well one, the nature of this accident was horrific,” Eimers told CBS News.
To make the tragedy worse, Eimers received a bill for the damage to the guardrail months later, totaling almost $3,000. “They will kill you and then they will bill you. The bill was absolutely tasteless. … It’s almost comical. It’s like the most obscene comedy skit you can come up with,” he told the Washington Post.
After his daughter’s death, Eimers began a crusade to find other accidents like Hannah’s and build up a case to have the guardrails removed.
Safety concerns about the guardrails were known at the time, as just six days before Hannah’s accident, the Tennessee Department of Transportation removed the guardrails from its list of approved products.
Eimers’s reference to Trump’s “concerns” about guardrails comes from a recent Wall Street Journal article. In it, Trump is reported to have said while discussing his infrastructure plan during a Cabinet meeting, “I always think if I ever went into that sucker I’d be afraid that it opens and you get speared,” referring to the guardrails.
He reportedly went on to say: “I want to hire whoever their salesman is. He’s the greatest salesman in the world. That is the worst crap.”
Eimers knows that the chances of the president seeing his ad are slim. “I am shooting for the moon,” Eimers told the Palm Beach Post, “I’m counting on him being at Mar-a-Lago. It’s worth the shot for me.”
Lindsay Transportation Solutions, which manufactures the guardrails and is the defendant in a lawsuit brought against them by Eimers and others, said in a statement to the Palm Beach Post: “While X-LITE has successfully passed crash and safety tests in accordance with Federal standards, there is no road safety equipment that can prevent injury every time a driver fails to stay on the road. Lindsay continues to work collaboratively with road safety stakeholders on national initiatives to enhance safety on America’s roadways.”
The guardrails have been linked to other deaths throughout the country, including several in Tennessee.
Sarah Weinberg, 37, of Alexandria, Va., was killed while driving home for Christmas in 2016 after veering off the road and into a guardrail.
George Jansen, 59, died in 2017 after his truck struck a guardrail and he too was impaled. Jansen was the father of three children.
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