Damage claim process for Don Holt tarp incident called into question

Source: Robert Waters
Source: Robert Waters
Source: Robert Waters
Source: Robert Waters

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's been just more than two weeks since the tarp on the Don Holt Bridge fell on drivers damaging some cars while totaling others.

The tarp was put in place by the contractor to protect cars from a paint project on the bridge.

Since the incident, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announced how drivers with damage could file a claim.

At least one driver says he's unsure if he'll receive any help.

Robert Waters was one of the drivers who was trapped in his car under the tarp, netting and cables that fell down from the bridge.

Police say seven cars and an 18-wheeler were trapped beneath the tarp.

Some were able to drive away from the incident while Waters car was totaled.

"The response has been uniformly, 'They are investigating, they will let me know.' And that's all they told me," Waters said. "There has been no information at all."

Waters says that's the response he's received from Leonard Insurance Services after filing a claim for his totaled car.

SCDOT announced through the media that drivers with damage should file a claim with Leonard Insurance Services.

"I think this is going to go on for months and months, and in the time being I have had to go buy a car because I didn't have a rental anymore and I didn't have a car to drive," Roberts said. "Buying a car is a big purchase and I hadn't budgeted for buying a car."

DOT officials say they set up the claims process with the contractor to make it easy for drivers with damage to get reimbursed as quickly as possible.

An official says they weren't aware of the problems and will look to address them.

"It's a waiting game. I bought the car and I just now have to wait and see if they are going to be able to compensate any at all," Waters said.

He says he's had to go out of his way to get information.

"I'm worried with their announcement that it was all due to wind, they may say this was nobody's fault and I'm going to be left with nothing," Waters said. "I have a feeling, unfortunately, that may be what's going to happen. That's not right for me or any of the people involved."

An investigation continues into identifying the cause of the tarp failure.

The contractor is developing a new plan to protect cars from the paint project.

Leonard Insurance Services and the contractor for the paint project have not returned phone calls for a comment.

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