Bryce Smith Wheelchair Van Fund

We are incredibly grateful to our local news networks and their coverage of this incident:

Joe Holden and CBS 3 - CLICK HERE FOR STORY

Joyce Evans
and Fox 29 - CLICK HERE FOR STORY

6 ABC - Action News - CLICK HERE FOR STORY

Thank you all for your support! Please keep sharing!

I feel the need to share what happened to my brother in law Bryce and my parents-in-law, Carol and Lamar Smith. They live on Academy Road in Philadelphia, near the 95 entrance.

Bryce is disabled and has been in a wheelchair since he was young. He is now in his forties, and has a career with PennDOT, is hardworking, and is as self-sufficient as he can be. He participates in wheelchair hockey and is the captain of the Philadelphia PowerPlay wheelchair team. My in-laws, now in their seventies, care for him.

They are good people. They never asked for a cent from anyone but would open their home to anyone in need in a heartbeat. Bryce does take SEPTA at times, but sadly, sometimes the buses pass him right by - it takes time to help our disabled brothers and sisters onto the bus.

They depend on a specially engineered van, which is especially suited for his wheelchair. In the early morning of March 26th, 2018, at around 1 AM, a driver drove his truck right into the van, and heavily damaged the van, taking the fence and lawn with them, and then fled the scene.

The van they had was a Dodge, specially engineered with a wheelchair ramp. It was relatively new, and they still owed about $30,000 on that van.

They have had terrible luck as it is with these vans, and negotiating a non-wheelchair world is still a great challenge.  And now the challenge got even harder.

This is a compelling story of a man, living with a disability, working hard every day, and someone just destroyed his primary method of transportation. My father-in-law, Lamar Smith, had just retired, and he is a veteran of Vietnam. My mother in law, Carol, works at Holy Innocents Church. They could sit back and take government checks - but they are the polar opposite of that - They depend on that van heavily. This is financially disastrous for them.

These vans are extremely expensive. Not only is a stronger engine required, the vehicle has to be retrofitted for the ramp and lift system - tens of thousands more. Bryce needs these funds to get a new van, and cover costs in the loss of the van.

With regards to navigating a world for those who walk, Bryce's story is worth it to begin with, let alone the incident that happened here.

Thank you for your time and consideration of his story, and sharing his GoFundMe . These funds will cover the cleanup, what is still owed on the van minus insurance, and the cost of the new van. All donations welcome, and are going directly to Bryce!

Donations

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  • Charlie & George Massih 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • MaryAnne Krause 
    • $25 
    • 36 mos
  • Tara and Steven Bloom 
    • $20 
    • 36 mos
  • Hank B 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Sue McIntyre 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Brian Dietzler 
Organizer
Marple, PA
Bryce Smith 
Beneficiary
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