VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – On Tuesday, 10 On Your Side told you about a Norfolk woman whose car was hit by a city trash truck. Repairs will be expensive and the city said it isn’t paying because of sovereign immunity.
Hours after the story aired, a local auto shop reached out wanting to help.
The staff at Elite Auto Body in Virginia Beach saw our story and offered to fix Chavonne Grant’s car free of charge.
“My painter Alex was watching the news and he saw the story and thought it would be a neat idea. We’ve done charity work before,” said Nick Ciavarra, Elite Auto’s body shop manager. “We emailed you guys, we got ahold of Ms. Grant and there’s her car.”
As of Thursday, Grant’s car is now at the shop for repairs.
The 2007 BMW 328 was damaged while parked outside Grant’s Norfolk home this past October. A city trash truck driver accidentally hit her car and got stuck in the driver side panel. Since he was performing a government job collecting trash, the city has immunity and won’t pay for damages.
Ciavarra said he and the team are happy to help. Ciavarra had a similar experience in North Carolina with a school bus.
“Years ago, I had an old truck my kid’s school bus hit,” Ciavarra said. “It took a couple of months for me to get that all straightened out. I felt her pain.”
Grant told 10 On Your Side she’s grateful.
“Words can’t even explain how grateful I am,” Grant said. “Shoutout to WAVY 10 because every person was like, ‘Go to WAVY. Go to WAVY. They’re tagging, tagging, tagging. I just want to say to Elite Auto Body thank you so very much. You have no idea. I promised myself I wouldn’t be up here crying so I’m not going to cry.”
Ciavarra hopes to get the car back to Grant within the next couple of weeks.
“We’ll see if we can get it to start first,” Ciavarra said, “and then we’ll go from there.”