On February 7, 18-year-old Michael Carter Jr. died when he crashed into an X-LITE guardrail terminal. He had just joined the Marines and died in his uniform while driving along Maryland's Eastern Shore.
His mother, Sandra Johnson-Carter, is now fighting to have the X-LITE guardrail terminals removed nationwide. She wrote a letter to Governor Larry Hogan imploring him to remove all X-LITES from the road immediately. The Governor responded to News4 that any action would need to be researched by the Maryland DOT.
At least 7 other people nationwide have been allegedly killed from hitting the X-LITE terminal, which is manufactured by Lindsay Transportation Solutions. The X-LITE is designed to crumple and absorb the force of a car collision. Some accident survivors and bereaved families are claiming that the X-LITE does not do this, but creates a hazard that makes potential collisions more fatal, not less. The company is now facing 5 lawsuits claiming the terminal is defective.
Fighting Alongside Other Grieving Parents
Ms. Johnson-Carter testified in front of the Tennessee House Transportation Committee earlier this week at the invitation of Stephen Eimers, whose daughter also died in a crash with an X-LITE in 2016. Mr. Eimers has been traveling the country over the last year to speak with state and local leaders to get the X-LITE model removed from the road.
Together, they testified in support of a resolution that would have the U.S. Secretary of Transportation order a national recall of the X-LITE. While the X-LITE is no longer being installed on the nation's roads, hundreds of them are still being installed throughout Virginia and Maryland alone. At least 10 other states are currently replacing X-LITES for safety concerns, but also because the X-LITE no longer meets current road safety standards.