By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
The Council on Aging’s senior transportation program received a new van in 2016, but a fire in UAB Hospital Kirklin Clinic’s parking lot destroyed the vehicle and temporarily shut down the program.
The senior transportation program shuttles seniors to out-of-county doctors appointments. The fire broke out during during one of the transports when a truck drove into the parking lot on fire. A bystander informed the driver that his vehicle was on fire, and the driver and passenger left the truck just in time to escape the blast when the vehicle imploded. The exterior of the transport van was heavily damaged, but despite the hot flames, items inside the vehicle remained safe, including several tablecloths and a water bottle.
The driver of the truck did not have insurance, and the insurance money that the Council on Aging received was not enough to afford a new vehicle.
Luckily, Honda Manufacturing, which donated the first van, decided to help once again. Volunteers from Honda Manufacturing delivered a new Honda Odyssey minivan to the council at the Downtown Gadsden Civic Center.
Council on Aging staff and volunteers were excited as they waited for the van’s arrival.
After its arrival, atten-dees held hands and circled through the van (because there were not enough people to encircle the vehicle) to pray over the vehicle.
Council on Aging Director Jenifer Grace received the keys to the van. After the vehicle is properly registered and insured, Grace said that the senior transportation program will be able to resume.