Wheelchair accessible van stolen from Louisville apartment parking garage

Wheelchair accessible van stolen from Louisville apartment parking garage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A college student who uses a wheelchair accessible van is offering a $1,000 reward for its safe return after she said it was stolen Monday night.

Ashley “Boo” Williams moved to Louisville six months ago, hopeful that spinal cord injury research could offer promising results.

“There’s some people that are walking with it and there’s some people that are just getting core strength,” she said.

Williams became a quadriplegic ten years ago after a car accident. She’s currently as senior at UNC Chapel Hill but recently began a two-year treatment program in Louisville. She’s been going to physical therapy five times a week at the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute.

After her wheelchair accessible van went missing, Williams said she’ll have to use her power chair to get around town.

“To go out there and its gone, just really rips that independence away from me,” she said.

Williams had just returned from North Carolina Monday, where her van was undergoing repairs. She parked the vehicle on the first floor of her apartment’s garage that night. The garage is only accessible to those with electronic key fobs.

When Williams woke up Tuesday morning, she says the van was gone.

She called police who are now reviewing garage security cameras.

“Just moving up here and everything’s new and I’m having to relearn everything all over, that [van] was going to make things ten times easier and now I don’t have it,” she said.

Williams’ van is a 2015 black Dodge Caravan with stickers on the back. She said it’s her main mode of transportation to the physical therapy, the gym and the grocery store.

Thousands of dollars of modifications were made over the years to make it easier for her to drive. She estimates the total cost of the van to be $115,000.

“When you get injured, you have to learn how to relive a whole new way,” she said. “The person that took my van, I would just ask them to bring it back. I won’t even be mad because it just means that much.”

Anyone with information about the missing vehicle is encouraged to call LMPD.

Williams’ friends and family started a GoFundMe campaign to purchase a new van if the missing one is never found.

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