Thursday, July 27, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Car
It can be hard to function in South Florida without a car. One local man even decided to keep driving after becoming paralyzed. In fact, the only thing stopping him - his mechanic refuses to instal hand controls in his car. Now, he says - That's Just Wrong.
WSVN--The year was 1999.
Lawrence Dallas learned first hand what happens when you hang out with the wrong crowd.
One night, his friends started fighting when gun shots erupted.
Lawrence Dallas: "A bunch of guys playing dice and a dude got mad and shot me in the back."
Now, for the last six years, this father of four has had to live without the use of his legs.
Lawrence Dallas: "I wasn't able to get in my bathroom or anything. My wife had to drag me into the bathroom."
But being paralyzed hasn't handicapped his spirit or sense of responsibility.
To this day, he still looks for work even if it means finding odd jobs.
Lawrence Dallas: "Four or five hours a day. Just have something coming in to help me out a little bit."
The hardest part not doing the work but getting to work.
That is at least what he thought until a neighbor gave him this car.
Lawrence Dallas: "The car only had sixty-four thousand miles."
Sixty-four thousand miles but it had been in an accident
Lawrence Dallas: "I took the car and fixed it up and got it back in shape."
Lawrence finally thought his problems were in the rear view mirror until he asked a mechanic to install hand controls.
Lawrence Dallas: "Guy told me the car wasn't worth fixing."
So he did more work on the car.
Lawrence Dallas: "Once I got everything adjusted and fixed I tried again and she sent a letter and it came back saying refused because the car's not worth hand controls."
Now Lawrence says being denied the ability to drive - That's Just Wrong.
Craig Steven: "Unfortunately, while Lawrence has a right to drive, the condition of his car is an issue. According to the experts, the vehicle is required to meet certain safety standadrds before having hand controls."
Edwin Medina: "It is a big safety issue. You do have to have a safe reliable vehicle. Especially when you are a handicapped person. Because remember they cannot react the way a normal bodied person would."
One key factor - if the automobile has been in any accidents.
Edwin Medina: "If you have a vehicle that's been in a wreck. It's been rebuilt or reconstructed. It's not safe."
That leaves lawrence in a precarious position.
He can't work without the car and can't buy a new car without work.
Lawrence Dallas: "I'm in no shape to buy no car. Cause I'm on a low fixed income. And, I cannot afford no more payments."
Still, there is hope.
Seven News has put him in touch with several charities that help in cases like this.
They do concede the need for good cars is high, but Lawrence has learned on the road of life, you can never give up.
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