Community steps in to help woman after car accident | SierraSun.com

Community steps in to help woman after car accident

Not many people look forward to their Monday morning commute, but a Truckee resident recently experienced a particular bad one when her car caught on fire as she was driving to work.

Angela Gleason was driving to work on April 24 after visiting some friends in Auburn, when her 1999 Subaru Outback began spewing smoke, and then burst into flames on Interstate 80 at Blue Canyon.

Luckily, Gleason's boss understood — he even created a GoFundMe page to help Gleason get a new car. The page has raised nearly $5,000 as of May 10.

"Sometimes good people that do all the right things still have bad luck," said Truckee Sears Hometown Owner Charlie Riley.

Riley said he hired Gleason about three years ago, shortly after she moved to Truckee. He said in that time she has never been late and always maintained a positive attitude.

"This really could have happened to anybody," Riley said. "What made me step up to help was it's not that she's just anyone. She's a single mom and my wife and I have always felt that for her, her first priority is her daughters."

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Riley said Gleason often takes on a second job, and works seven days a week to send her daughters to ski school.

"Think about it, you move to Truckee, you're paying rent and working more than 40 hours a week to make things happen … and your car catches on fire," he said. "She had car insurance, but if you have an older car you don't insure it for fire."

Gleason's Subaru had more than 200,000 miles on it and recently had work done to it, including a new axle, a new head gasket and a replacement transmission installed. She's currently borrowing a vehicle temporarily, and riding a bicycle, according to Riley, but is without any long-term reliable transportation that can help her get her two daughters to school safely.

"I mean, how do you survive in Truckee walking?" Riley said.

He said his goal with the fundraising effort is to raise between $7,500 and $10,000 to help her get a used car.

"We're not trying to buy her a new car, we're trying to get her a car with low enough miles that's safe for her and her girls," Riley said.

He said that the support from the community so far has been impressive, and that's what he loves most about Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

"I've been blown away by how many people have stepped up to help," he said.

As of May 10, Riley said more than 60 individuals have contributed to help Gleason. He said they're about two-thirds of the way to their fundraising goal so far.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2653 or arhoades@sierrasun.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @akrhoades.