Family: Uninsured driver destroys boy’s wheelchair, van

Allegan County

WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A Wayland family is looking for help after they say an uninsured driver slammed into their handicapped-accessible van, damaging everything in its path.

“It’s about $75,000 worth of damage in 10 seconds,” said Cliff Tomson.

Tomson said police confirmed the driver blacked out but was not intoxicated at the time of Thursday’s crash.

He said the driver not only destroyed the van parked in their driveway, but put a major dent in his son Graham’s wheelchair. The 4-year-old boy was born with cerebral palsy.

“The insurance will cover the van, but the stroller on the other hand, because it was outside the vehicle, is not covered,” said Tomson.

“My heart broke,” said Lisa Shields.

Shields is trying to bridge the financial gap for the Tomson family through a GoFundMe page she started.

“They’re like family,” said Shields. “Graham was my son’s first best friend.”

Like Graham, Shield’s son, Ethan, had cerebral palsy and other medical challenges.

Ethan passed away in May. To honor his memory, she’s lending her hand.

“They’re connected with me and I can’t see another special needs family struggle for something that I know they need,” said Shields.

The $2,000 she’s trying to raise will be used to help the Tomsons buy Graham a new wheelchair, which they say runs between $20,000 to $25,000.

Shields is letting Graham use Ethan’s wheelchair until he can get a new one. Until then, the Tomsons are asking for help, even from those who cannot donate.

“Even just with thoughts and prayers, it really adds up,” said Tomson.

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