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Peyton family in need of new van and wheelchair for daughter after head-on crash

PEYTON, Colo. (KRDO) - A family in Peyton is still in shock after an apparent drunk driver hit them head-on along Highway 24, leaving them to have to replace their van to transport their special needs daughter around town.

Eric and Nancy Malan were driving home on Highway 24 around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, with their 8-year-old daughter Lauren, who requires a special wheelchair and van for transportation.

It was around that time that the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) said a man, who appeared to be drunk, hit the gas through a turn from Garrett Road onto Highway 24. He sideswiped a truck and then went over the median into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into the Malan family.

The Malan's mini-van they were driving is a special model that can carry a larger-scale wheelchair like the one used for their daughter. It's the only way they can transport her to school, to doctor's appointments, or anywhere outside the house.

The family says they're extremely grateful that no one was hurt, especially Lauren, who has a fragile frame due to developmental issues and is non-verbal. In the moments after the crash, Nancy says she was worried that Lauren wasn't going to be able to communicate if she was hurt.

Now Eric and Nancy are waiting for CSP's official crash investigation report so they can get a new van and wheelchair for her daughter.

"Right now we're in a complete holding pattern. We have no money to put down for a vehicle or anything like that. And these are not inexpensive vehicles, they're anywhere from [being] used [at] $50,000, on up to 100,000." explained Eric Malan, who was driving their van when the crash happened.

The family says that it could take them up to a month to get a new wheelchair for Lauren, and won't be able to bring her to elementary school until they get that new van.

If you'd like to donate to help the Malan's you can click here for the link to a verified fundraiser.

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Tyler Cunnington

Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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