Mother gets bill from ODOT for crash that killed her daughter

A Columbus mother got a bill in the mail from ODOT with charges of $664 to pay for repairs to the guardrail her daughter hit in the crash that killed her. (Facebook/Brianna N Finneran)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - A Columbus mother is dealing with an unthinkable loss. Just weeks ago, her young daughter died in a car wreck along I-670.

To make matters worse, she got a bill in the mail from the Ohio Department of Transportation with charges of nearly $700. The fee would go to pay for repairs to the guardrail her daughter hit in the crash.

An ODOT spokesperson told ABC 6/FOX 28 that it was all a big mistake. That devastated mother said it never should have happened. She’s now concerned that this could possibly happen to other families as well.

It’s something no parent is ever prepared for, the loss of a child. Unfortunately, Karen Harrington knows that pain all too well. In October, her 28-year-old daughter Brianna was killed in a wreck along I-670 by the Fourth Street exit. Brianna slammed into a guardrail.

“She was a great person. She always had a smile on her face. She just brought joy to everyone she met,” said Harrington.

Harrington said that the past few weeks have been hard on the family. So, you can only imagine her shock and anger when she got a bill in the mail from ODOT. The bill was for $664.06, the amount due Dec. 27.

“I guess because the car was in my name, it was my car. I don’t know. The police report says right on it that it was a fatal accident,” said Harrington.

ABC 6/FOX 28 found out about the issue through its tip line Thursday and contacted ODOT right away.

Within hours, an ODOT spokesperson said the bill was sent in error and ODOT will not pursue the issue any further.

Harrington is relieved that ABC 6/FOX 28 was able to help her get answers. However, she is still a bit frustrated it all happened.

“We pay our taxes already, so, like, they’re double-dipping. That’s how I feel,” said Harrington.

ODOT also said, typically, if a driver damages state property in a crash and is found to be at fault, ODOT will send the bill to the insurance company or the person's estate.

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