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Family’s gift car to get new brakes thanks to business

A Saanich single mother already grateful for a car donated to her family by sympathetic strangers got more good news on Thursday. Victoria Speedy Auto has offered to repair or replace the brakes on Andrea Deman’s 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera free of charge.
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Kara Deman, 8, sits on the hood while her brother Justin, 15, and mother, Andrea Deman, stand beside a 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera that was donated to the family. Their car was demolished by a runaway truck that crashed into their Saanich townhouse on Sept. 24.

A Saanich single mother already grateful for a car donated to her family by sympathetic strangers got more good news on Thursday.

Victoria Speedy Auto has offered to repair or replace the brakes on Andrea Deman’s 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera free of charge.

Deman’s life was thrown into turmoil on Sept. 24 when a runaway truck drove down an embankment and crashed into the deck of her Nigel Avenue townhouse, totalling her low-mileage 1991 Buick Century and terrifying her and her kids in the middle of the night.

Deman was tearful at the news of the brake offer. “Oh my God, that’s amazing,” she said.

For three weeks, Deman was late every day for her full-time job as a cook at CFB Esquimalt because no buses could get her there on time for her 6:45 a.m. start, nor could she afford a new car with her $1,600 ICBC settlement.

Speedy co-owner Mike Salkus said he “totally understood” her tough situation and volunteered his staff to do the brake work when Deman needs it.

“We would be honoured to help out,” he said in an email to the Times Colonist after reading of Deman’s situation. A full brake job could cost up to $850, but $350 at a minimum, said Salkus, who bought the franchise in 2007 with his wife.

The truck driver who totalled Deman’s car fled the scene in the middle of the night, then lied to Saanich police who tracked him down, saying his vehicle had been stolen. He later came forward and said he had fallen asleep at the wheel and panicked. He was fined $368 under the Motor Vehicle Act.

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