Butler Co. quadriplegic in accident that destroys wheelchair-accessible van

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EVANS CITY, Pa. —

Tim Hemmes is a rock star in the medical community.  The Evans City, Butler County man is not only known in Pittsburgh but all over the world.
 
You may remember seeing Hemmes on Channel 11, taking part in a one-of-a-kind robotic arm study.   We watched as he used his mind to move a robotic arm to give his then-girlfriend a high-five.
 
Hemmes is a quadriplegic.  He severed his spine 10 years ago in a motorcycle accident. 
 
Hemmes has suffered many blows in life, but he hasn't let anything get him down until now.  That's why his family called Channel 11 for help.
 
On April 4, Hemmes was in a horrific accident.  He was on his way home from a doctor’s appointment when his wheelchair-accessible van was hit and demolished.
 
“I was thrown around all over the van,” said Hemmes.
 
“It’s not just any old van.  This van has a high roof and low floor and fits my wheelchair,” said Hemmes.
 
His special wheelchair was among the wreckage.
 
“I’ve never asked for anything, but I just need this.  I feel trapped, sitting in my house.  I’m embarrassed to call the ambulance to get a ride to the doctor,” Hemmes said.
 
Hemmes’ family is working on some summer fundraisers.  Channel 11 reporter Amy Marcinkiewicz will keep you posted about them on her Facebook page.