Alleged Drunk Driver Destroys Student’s Wheelchair-Accessible Van

An alleged drunk driving accident has destroyed one college student’s wheelchair accessible van, turning his half hour commute by car into 3 hours by public bus. The student, who attends Suffolk County Community College, was born with spinal muscular atrophy. He used the wheelchair accessible van to get to class each day with his mother.

According to Fios1 News, the student’s everyday life was disrupted when his van went up in flames. Allegedly, a drunk driver crashed into the van while it was parked in their family’s driveway. Police report that the driver was the student’s 27-year-old neighbor. The driver is allegedly a repeat offender. He was arrested and is out on $5,000 bail.

The student now takes the community bus to get to class. The commute, which formerly took half an hour, is now three hours long. His mother told Fios 1 News that her son is “…taking Suffolk County transportation, and thank God it’s in place because he can get to where he needs to go, but it does add… doubles the time, triples the time,” The family says the replacing the van will be a burden; it costs $65,000.

Recently, three Stony Brook students were struck and injured by a drunk hit-and-run driver. University Police say the driver, a 23-year-old man from Palm Coast, Florida, was intoxicated when he struck the 2010 Toyota carrying the three students. Police say he fled the scene, but was later spotted and arrested. The man is being charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury.

Last month, a woman was tragically killed by a drunk driver on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. The mother of four from Guinea was stranded on the BQE with her relatives; their vehicles were pulled over on the shoulder when the driver struck the cars. The impact caused a chain reaction, which sent the woman flying over the guardrail and onto the street below. Family members say the man appeared to be speeding, estimating his speed at a minimum of 100 mph. The family also says the man tried to flee on foot, but was held by the victim’s relatives.

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