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Parents of teens killed involving crashes into guardrails push for nationwide removal

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By SAMANATHA SINGER, WZTV

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) - Parents of two teenagers killed involving crashes into guardrails designed to protect them are now pushing to get those guardrails removed nationwide.

They’re called X-Lite guardrails and more than 700 of them are still waiting to be removed from Tennessee roads.

17-year-old Hannah Eimers was killed when a Lindsay X-Lite guardrail sliced through her car door and hit her head in a crash in 2016.

Two months ago in Maryland, Marine Corps PFC Michael Carter, Jr. died in a crash involving the same guardrail.

“It was just the hardest thing. I couldn't breathe,” Carter's mother Sandra Johnson-Carter said. “ I collapsed on the floor. I couldn't understand what they meant that he didn't make it.”

Now Sandra Johnson-Carter has joined Hannah Eimers' father Steve Eimers in Nashville for a new legislative push.

“We don't want any other family to share in this horror,” Steve Eimers said.

Tuesday the parents asked state lawmakers to support a resolution calling on the U.S. Transportation Secretary to remove all X-Lite guardrails from every road in the nation.

“This is a product that if somebody hits it that they're going to be seriously hurt or killed,” Steve Eimers said.

Tennessee became the first state in the nation to order this guardrail system to be removed.

TDOT said 154 of the 731 X-Lites still up in Tennessee are on mid-state roads. The contractor has until June 30th to remove them all.

“This is a product that's reasonably certain to kill," Steve Eimers said. “Step up. Get this product off your roadside and save another family from sharing in this grief."

Sandra Johnson-Carter brought her son’s boots to Tennessee as a symbol of her loss and the battle ahead.

"To give me the strength and the courage and the endurance to fight to have these products removed from streets as long as it takes,” Johnson-Carter said. ”As long as I have to walk, and I carry his footsteps with me in order to get that change."

At least four people have been killed in Tennessee in crashes involving X-Lite guardrails. They are part of several deaths across the country.

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