WEST VALLEY CITY — When Bryson Rowley used his truck to stop a driver tearing through a busy park in Syracuse for a third time, he was concerned about the kids in the park, not the damage it would cause to his truck.
As he was being chased by police on May 31, the boy drove a stolen car through Founders Park near 500 South and 1900 West in Syracuse not once, but twice. A video of the incident shows people screaming and children running out of the way.
Rowley was at the park with his family. When he saw the car coming toward the park a third time, he jumped into his truck to try and cut off the driver. As the car rounded a corner, the two vehicles collided and the chase was over.
Rowley’s Dodge Ram had significant suspension and steering problems after it crashed into the car, which was being driven by a 14-year-old boy.
When the two owners of West Valley CARSTAR heard what happened to Rowley’s truck, they said they knew they needed to help.
“I was watching the news and I saw it and I was shocked, for one,” said Bryan Ellison, a co-owner of the CARSTAR body shop. “If that was one of my kids in the park and something happened to him, I'd be a wreck.”
The truck had about $7,500 in damages.
Ellison said he knew insurance wouldn’t pay for the repairs because it was done intentionally, so he offered to make all the repairs for free.
“I didn't know what to expect,” Rowley said. “They actually just showed up at my house with a rental car and a tow truck and took my truck from me.”
But then word started spreading.
"Once you start the ball rolling, it's kind of a snowball effect,” Ellison said. “People want to help.”
In addition to a $7,500 repair job, the auto body shop along with local business donated extra parts to the tune of $15,000.
He picked up the new and improved truck this week, after three weeks in the shop. When he saw his truck, he was overwhelmed.
“There are no words,” Rowley said. “I don't know how you can tell someone thanks for doing that. Amazing. It was unexpected. I appreciate everybody who had something to do with it.”
Rowley said the completely detailed truck is like brand new.
“The whole bumper is new, the hooks, the LED lights,” Rowley said. There was no damage to the rear bumper, but they put in a new one so it would match the front.
"If anyone wants to run into him again, they're in trouble because those bumpers are stronger than my house,” Ellison said.
He said Rowley’s actions to protect the children in the park proves there are still good people in this world.
“We can’t thank him enough for saving people’s lives possibly,” Ellison said. “People are priceless. A car can be fixed.”
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