Truck Stolen From Disabled Tulsa Woman

Wednesday, December 3rd 2008, 5:33 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A thief steals a woman's independence.  The fact Andrea Powell's truck was stolen from her drive-way, isn't all that unusual.  But, the fact that it's specially equipped to allow her to drive with her hands, rather than her feet, makes the theft a special hardship.

Andrea was born with a condition that makes her feet numb and she wears braces on her legs.   It was a big expense and sacrifice for her family to have a truck specially outfitted with hand controls and the longer it's gone, the more helpless she is.

Despite her struggles, Andrea Powell is an independent person and being able to drive is a big part of the reason why.   Her 1995 Nissan pickup was in her driveway Friday, November 21st, when someone dumped another stolen vehicle there and took her truck.

"I'm so independent.  Used to doing things on my own and I can't do that anymore," said Andrea Powell.

Andrea's truck is red with a gold stripe down the side.  It has some paint missing in the middle of the hood and has a gray primer tailgate.  Her license plate is PXR 542.

What makes it really unique is the hand control bar to the left of the steering wheel.

"It looks like a bicycle handle under the steering wheel with bars to the pedals.  Helps me drive with my hands," said Andrea Powell.

The truck can also be driven the regular way for others, but Andrea is stuck without it, relying on the kindness and schedules of others to get her places like the grocery store.  She finds herself searching for it whenever she's out.

"My heart was racing when I saw the truck, oh, this is my truck, nope, not it. Ooh," said Andrea Powell.

She hopes whoever took it will abandon it, because she can't afford to get a new vehicle and pay the $1,000 for new hand controls.  She's angry the thieves took it after it was obvious it belonged to someone handicapped.

"Most people are heartless like that.  They don't think.  They don't care," said Andrea Powell.

The sheriff's office put the truck into the National Crime Computer so they'll get it a hit if an officer pulls it over.

Anyone who has seen Andrea's truck or knows where it is can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS.