Before dawn on Feb. 23, Darius Williams ran his Nissan Sentra off a North Carolina interstate at 80 miles per hour. A length of guardrail pierced his door, according to the police report, driving the 24-year-old’s body into the opposite back seat.
Three days later, with police attributing the accident to reckless driving and Williams lying in intensive care, a self-described safety expert named Joshua Harman drove past the scene. Spotting debris and the jagged end of a guardrail bending toward the highway, he swerved to a stop.
“The evidence always tells a story,” he said.
Suspecting he knew this story’s ending, he steered his truck to the junkyard where Williams’ Nissan had been towed. Some 10 feet of guardrail, doubled back on itself, skewered the car. Harman pointed his camera toward the bloodied back seat and snapped a picture of a 175-pound piece of steel lodged amid the wreckage. A sticker identified its maker: Trinity Highway Products LLC.