At only 23, paramedic Garrett Placke has a lot to look forward to. Following his crash into a guardrail, he says he owes the rest of his life to TTI and Trinity Industries.
It was raining that Sunday afternoon as he traveled toward College Station on State Highway 47, ironically, not far from the entrance to Riverside Campus where the guardrail was designed. He was returning home from seeing his niece’s christening late last November when his 2005 pickup truck began hydroplaning.
“My truck was heading off the road, and I no longer had control,” Placke recalls. “I knew I was going to hit the guardrail head-on at 65 [miles per hour], so I was expecting a really big slam. Remarkably, my truck stopped very quickly, and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t hurt.” The guardrail absorbed the truck’s impact and prevented it from heading over a steep embankment into Johnson Creek. He soon wondered who to thank for saving his life.
The guardrail is a TTI-designed end terminal called an ET-PLUS manufactured by Trinity Industries. “We don’t have any idea how many people credit the ET-PLUS with saving their lives or preventing serious injury, so it’s very rewarding to hear stories like Mr. Placke’s,” said Assistant Agency Director Gene Buth, who participated in the design of the end terminal. “We are all glad he’s OK.”
There are an estimated 300,000 TTI-designed end terminals in place along roadways in the United States and around the world.