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College Student Faces Laborious Commute after Destruction of his Wheelchair - Accessible Van

Sep 28, 2016

A student at Farmingdale State College who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, travelled each day to class in a wheelchair accessible van with his mother. This was their routine until an alleged drunk driver slammed into the van parked in their driveway in Holbrook, New York, on a recent early Sunday morning. The van went up in flames.

Now the Suffolk County college student's commute has become a long and arduous one after the fiery accident. According to the police, the man who crashed into the van was a 27-year-old neighbor, and repeat offender, who was allegedly intoxicated and in the driver's seat. The neighbor was arrested and is now out on $5,000 bail, according to FIOS News 1.

The wheelchair bound student is now forced to take a community bus, rather than his former van, making his commute 3 hours instead of the usual half hour.

The student's mother says, he's "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… double the time, triples the time."

The family says that replacing the $65,000 van will be a burden, reports FIOS News 1.

Every day, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 53 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. Thankfully, there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

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