Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "guardrails" ...

  • Unprotected

    An NBC 5 investigation found the Texas Department of Transportation failed to put up guardrails in locations where state and federal guidelines suggest they should have been installed. In some of those spots with no guardrails drivers have died after colliding with large concrete bridge posts that sit unprotected, some just feet from the roadway.
  • Frankenstein Guardrails

    The FOX31 Denver’s investigative unit discovered Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews assembling guardrail systems with mix-and-match parts from competing manufacturers. By “Frankensteining” already questionable end-cap terminals, with incompatible rails, the state had been creating serious road safety hazards for years. Within a week of the revelation, the Federal Highway Administration ordered a nationwide warning and Colorado began inspecting every guardrail system in the state (42,000 end-cap terminals/21,000 guardrail systems), repairing hundreds of dangerous installation errors.
  • Highway Hazard?

    Guardrails are easy to overlook when they’re doing their job, but when they don’t work, critics say the consequences can be deadly. Our piece looked at a guardrail system that critics call the worst offender, the ET PLUS made by Trinity Industries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6fQV1v3qVQ
  • Deadly Impact

    This in-depth, nine month investigation by Chief Correspondent Brian Ross and Producer Cindy Galli was the first to disclose previously-secret company emails and documents, all pointing to an internal cover-up by guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries. The company had modified a popular highway product without disclosing the changes to the government, as is required by law. That design change has now been blamed for injuries and deaths around the country. It also called into question the lack of oversight by the Federal Highway Administration. The first reports had an immediate impact as over a dozen states suspended purchases of the questionable guardrail end terminals in the days following the report. When we first reported our story, the Federal Highway Safety Administration said it considered the guardrail end terminals to be safe. Since our broadcast, more than 40 states have suspended the use of the devices and under growing pressure from congressional and state officials, the Federal Highway Administration has now ordered the company to conduct new safety tests which are currently ongoing .
  • Spearing Cars in the Name of Safety

    Guardrails on the nation's highways are supposed to protect us. Too often, though, they have inflicted harm. Patrick G. Lee investigated how a Texas company altered its taxpayer-funded guardrail system under the government's nose, to potentially deadly effect. Months before other media, Lee exposed the potential hazard posed by Trinity Industries Inc.'s ET-Plus end terminal, a 175-pound piece of steel mounted at the ends of a guardrail. Intended to absorb the force of a crash, some of them lock up, piercing cars and their occupants. Lee recounted one would-be whistleblower's cross-country quest, starting in late 2011, to learn why these systems were spearing cars. The discovery: Trinity had modified the ET-Plus more than a half-decade earlier without telling regulators. The newer version, modified to cut manufacturing costs, was malfunctioning, several plaintiffs alleged.
  • SUVs and Guardrails

    The investigative reporters at WTAE-TV discover that there is a greater risk of accidents with usage of guardrails on major interstates and roads, especially for light trucks and sport utility vehicles. The reporter discovered that, during an eight year span, there were 82 fatal accidents with SUVs and guardrails in Pennsylvania. There has been little effort to fix this problem because of a state Supreme Court ruling which determined that the state could not be sued for unsafe guardrails.
  • 2002 IRE National Conference Show and Tell Tape #2

    2002 IRE National Conference (San Francisco) Show and Tell Tape #2 features the following stories 1) Tim Minton (WNBC-New York City) Security at local hospitals are lacking. 2) Brian Collister (KMOL-San Antonio) An inordinate number of court case have been thrown out of the local county court because judges ruled the defendants lacked a speedy trial. 3) Clips from a PBS project concerning scientists' genetic experiments. 4) Kevin Quinn (KFSN-Fresno) Area residents are suspicious of a local Muslim village called Baladullah, where the sounds gunfire has been heard emanating from the grounds. 5) Dan Noyes (KGO-San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose) Guardrails in California are often installed incorrectly, turning the protective barriers into potential dangers. 6) Craig Fiegener (ABC 30 Action News) Fifteen travelers are swindled by a travel agency, which sold them unconfirmed tickets for a cruise. 7) Joel Grover (CBS 2-Los Angeles) An undercover investigation reveals that valet parking attendants at LA's hottest night clubs steal from their customers. 8) Paul Gallagher (60 Minutes) An investigation of the U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 "Osprey" aircraft reveals serious mechanical problems that contributed to two crashes in 2000, which killed 23 Marines. 60 Minutes also reports that "senior officers in the Osprey squadron had deliberately falsified maintenance records and lied about the aircraft's readiness -- in an apparent effort by the Marine Corps to win Pentagon approval for full production of the aircraft, at a projected cost to U.S. taxpayers of $41 billion." 9) Tom Martino (KDVR-Denver) An undercover investigation reveals that many beauty salons use a dangerous chemical to make fake nails. 10) (WGHP-Greensboro) An investigation reveals that construction works who built the homes in a subdivision failed to install the chimneys correctly, making them dangerous for those who live there. 11) Darcy Spears (KVBC-Las Vegas) A hearing aid center uses bait and switch tactics to take advantage of the elderly. 12) Jim Kenyon (WSTM-Syracuse, New York) Criminals in Canada involved in advance fee loan scams trick Americans out of thousands of dollars. 13) Bob Segall (WITI-Milwaukee) An undercover investigation reveals that security guards at a local county courthouse don't do a good job of stopping banned items from entering the building. 14) Karen Hensel (WISH-Indianapolis) Marian County inspectors don't always review homes under construction. 15) (WBTV-Charlotte, N.C.) Members of the Iredell-Statesville School Board use district funds to attend an education conference -- but then skip the convention and go on a vacation to Disney World, all on the taxpayer's dime. 16) Valeri Williams (WFAA-Dallas/Fort Worth) WFAA-TV follows up its 2000 IRE Awards entry with this return investigation into Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital. Reporter Williams and producer Schucker continued their investigation, focusing on Dr. Lydia Grotti and her connection to suspicious and overlooked deaths in the emergency room. As a result of WFAA-TV's investigation the Texas Department of Health began conducting its own investigation and discovered additional deaths that took place in the ER. The county district attorney's office called in a special prosecutor to examine a total of eight suspicious deaths in connection with Dr. Grotti at the hospital. On Tape #2 is a short clip of Williams' work. Tape #3 features the entire series of stories she played at Show and Tell.