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Chicago Scraps Disabled Woman’s Van

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Andrea Santiago

Credit: WBBM TV-2

by Joe Seyton, Reason

A disabled Chicago woman was deprived of her only form of transportation after the city decided her wheelchair-accessible van was an abandoned vehicle.

For more than a decade, Andrea Santiago’s family parked her van along different parts of the same street. The van, equipped with a hydraulic lift, was worth about $15,000. According to WBBM, which reviewed years of Google Earth images, the van was regularly parked legally.

“It was her only mode of transportation,” attorney Jacie Zolna, who’s representing Santiago’s family, explains to Reason. It was “my freedom,” Santiago, who has multiple sclerosis, tells WBBM.

Santiago relied on the van to get to doctor’s appointments, among other places. But in June, an investigator from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation put a notice on the vehicle. If the van wasn’t moved in the next week, the notice said, the city would treat it like an abandoned vehicle and tow it away.

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© 2018 Reason Foundation

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