Those Who Relay On Wheelchairs To Get Around Say Shoveling & Plowing After Snowstorms Sometimes Leaves Them Trapped

After large snowstorms it is important to make sure sidewalk ramps and access to handicap parking spaces are cleared so those who need access can get through.

Video Transcript

KELLY WERTHMANN: The storm has passed, but days after feet of snow fell, some Coloradans say they are still trapped in their homes even though their neighbors are back out and about. Good evening, I'm Kelly Werthmann.

JIM BENEMANN: I'm Jim Benemann. Thanks for joining us at 5:00, Dillon Thomas with our top story at this hour up in Windsor. Dillon, those who rely on wheelchairs to get around say the shoveling and plowing often leaves them out.

DILLON THOMAS: Yeah take a look at this massive mound of snow right here behind me. The roads crew here in Windsor did an incredible job at clearing out the roadways. But they accidentally blocked some of the ADA ramps, like this one right here behind me. While they may have only done that to some of them. As you can see the one across the street is perfectly clear. One man tells us this is a clear example of how sometimes he can be trapped by this snow.

Working out on the beautiful trails of Northern Colorado.

LES BORSHEIM: I love going out for rolls, workouts outside.

DILLON THOMAS: It's the place I first met Les Borsheim years ago, the former pro hockey player now works out on the sidewalks and trails after a motorcycle crash led to paraplegia. Now nature is his gym.

LES BORSHEIM: Exercise and sunshine, I try to get as much of it as I can.

DILLON THOMAS: But last weekend when the storm arrived--

LES BORSHEIM: I'm from Canada, so enjoy the snow and a lot of it.

DILLON THOMAS: The beauty of it faded quickly.

LES BORSHEIM: You really can't go anywhere because of the weather.


DILLON THOMAS: Even to get out of his house for this story, I had to clear the path.

LES BORSHEIM: Right here for my ramp to come out, you had to shovel it.

DILLON THOMAS: While plows may have cleared roadways.

LES BORSHEIM: They sometimes forget about the little ramps that the person in the wheelchair needs to use.

DILLON THOMAS: Effectively trapping Borsheim at times.

LES BORSHEIM: Yeah, it is frustrating.

DILLON THOMAS: Even the slightest catch can trigger spasms. And with help, sometimes it's still too much.

LES BORSHEIM: It's impossible for someone like me in a wheelchair with this capability to get up there and on the sidewalk. Les knows leaving the ramps obstructed isn't intentional.

LES BORSHEIM: I never thought of it before my injury.

DILLON THOMAS: His message to those able--

LES BORSHEIM: Build up a little good karma, get a little fresh air and do a good deed. It means a ton for someone to go out of their way and do that so I can get out of my house and on my way.

DILLON THOMAS: So I actually live on a corner lot. I'll be first to admit that before this interview, I had cleared the sidewalk, but I had not gone out into the street to make sure that the ramp was accessible. After this interview, I went out and did just that. And Les says he's hoping that other viewers of CBS four will consider doing the same for their elderly neighbors and those who have physical disabilities.

Reporting live in Windsor, Dillon Thomas, Covering Colorado First.

JIM BENEMANN: Dilllon, certainly important to get the word out. Thank you.