Veteran with disability given wheelchair accessible van at annual auto show

Posted at 9:33 PM, May 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-17 23:33:34-04

OREM, Utah – A popular Utah car show was held this weekend, and event organizers honored veterans and presented a soldier in need with a much-needed boost to his mobility.

The 27th annual UVU Auto Expo and Swap Meet was held Saturday at Thanksgiving Point, and with Saturday being Armed Forces Day and with Memorial Day coming up event organizers wanted to honor veterans.

Utah Valley University automotive students have spent months refurbishing a van donated to the school by an alumnus, and the wheelchair accessible vehicle was presented to a local veteran Saturday.

Dennis Pegues was injured in the line of duty, and he said the new van means he can do things he wasn’t able to do before due to his injuries.

"It gives me freedom to leave my home,” he said. “It gives me freedom to go out and do the things I'd like to do that I have not been able to do before. I've had the chair, but not a means to get the chair around. So this will just give me freedom. I can go and visit people. I can go to the store. I can do just about anything that I want to do."

Pegues thanked the students for their work. His wife is a student at UVU and his son plans to enroll in the fall.