Ed Thomas speaks to an RCMP member following the recovering of the organization’s wheelchair accessible van up Silver Skagit Road Tuesday afternoon. (Jessica Peters/ Black Press)

VIDEO: Organization’s stolen wheelchair van recovered on backroad near Hope

Wheelchair accessible van is only transportation for some people in Hope and Fraser Canyon

The Hope Care Transit van that was discovered missing on Monday morning was recovered on Silver Skagit Road on Tuesday afternoon.

RCMP said at the scene that the call came in from a resident of the area who spotted the van in dense bush, about four kilometres up the road. The van had been driven down a side path, south of a bridge in that area.

Other than a missing console for a back-up camera, the van seemed to be in good working order, and the tow-truck driver on scene drove the vehicle out without issue.

The Hope Care Transit van is the only wheelchair-accessible vehicle in the Hope area, and provides service to about 350 people from Hope, the Fraser Canyon and Boston Bar.

READ MORE: Hope’s only public wheelchair-accessible vehicle stolen

Ed Thomas, board chair of Hope Care Transit, says that of the last 160 days, the van has been booked for 107 days. He was on site for the recovery, and was pleased to see the vehicle recovered without much damage.

Thankfully, he said, there had been no trips booked this week for their clients. There are no wheelchair-accessible taxis in Hope, and the HandyDart that services Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs does not come to Hope either.

Hope Care Transit runs on volunteer time, donations and grants.

“My first thought was ‘I hope it’s in good condition,’ and it seems to be okay,” he said, as the van was towed away.

 

Ed Thomas speaks to an RCMP member following the recovering of the organization’s wheelchair accessible van up Silver Skagit Road Tuesday afternoon. (Jessica Peters/ Black Press)

Ed Thomas and a Hope RCMP member look over the back hatch of the Hope Care Transit team’s recovered vehicle. (Jessica Peters/ Black Press)

Ed Thomas looks over the back hatch of the Hope Care Transit team’s recovered vehicle. (Jessica Peters/ Black Press)

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