I-Team helps disabled woman get her van back

Life turns on chance. There s good luck and bad luck.

And no one knows that better than Nicole Montgomery.

Take one in two million. Those were the odds she d get a disease where a simple bump to her body can cause the muscles in that area to turn to bone.

Even the littlest bump or bruise can cause a flare up, she said. So I become stiff and unable to move.

So the 20-year-old got a customized handicapped accessible van to get around in, but then came more luck, the bad kind when a car ran a stop sign and plowed into her van.

He just barreled right into us, recalled Montgomery. All I heard was like a big loud boom and crash.

In the aftermath, her tow truck driver suggested he let her tow the van to Northwest Collision, a repair shop on Pinemont in Garden Oaks.

Her parents insurance company paid Northwest Collision $15,000 to make the repairs.

Today, it s not one, not two, but three months later and the van still isn t repaired and Nicole s life circumscribed.

She s been unable to attend church. She s been unable to have a social life, said her mother, Robin Guerrero. It s upsetting trying to keep her spirits up when she can t get out of the house.

Her parents say they keep making phone call after phone call to Northwest and get the same answer every time.

We re working on it , quotes Guerrero.

The concerned and frustrated mother says she s heard that statement more times than she can count.

Meanwhile, Nicole has had access to a rental vehicle, but she prefers not to use it because it isn t customized to fit her wheelchair.

She says it s a dangerous situation.

Sometimes my chair slides forward so it makes me feel really unsafe, she said. I mean I don t feel like the straps are as strong as the ones in my van so they don t tie me down.

So the KHOU 11 News I-Team went to Northwest Collision to get some answers.

We found Nicole s 2012 Chrysler sitting in the repair shop looking pretty much the way it did right after the accident.

KHOU 11 News: What s taking so long?

Northwest Collision: It was a pretty big hit.

KHOU 11 News: Tell me the timeline. When will they have their car back?

Northwest Collision: Probably for Ms. Guerrero, probably next week.

KHOU 11 News: Do you know how many times they ve been told next week?

Northwest Collision: I don t ma am.

Manager Lupe Pena blamed the delay on back ordered parts.

KHOU 11 News: Are you satisfied with the customer service in this case?

Northwest Collision: No.

And Pena admits this isn t how they typically do business.

I will tell you from here I will make sure that this vehicle is given back to Ms. Guerrero as fast as possible, Pena told the KHOU 11 News I-Team.

Because time is everything for Nicole.

Her grandfather in Alabama just had a major stroke. She wants to go there for Christmas, but without her van she can t travel the distance.

That van was pretty much everything, Nicole said.

Late Tuesday, Pena sent the I-Team pictures of the repaired van. He said he finished the work today and Nicole is set to get it back Wednesday.

Pena also told the I-Team that he is going to reimburse the family for their rental car fees.


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