After diesel fuel mix-up, disabled Norfolk woman struggling to get to medical appointments


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A disabled Norfolk woman is still feeling the effects of the fuel fiasco in Chesapeake.

Last week 10 On Your Side told you diesel fuel wound up in a regular grade gas tank, impacting several Sam’s Club and Costco gas stations in the area.

The Norfolk woman needs her car fixed so she can get to her medical appointments.

10 On Your Side learned she has to pay for the repairs up front, before getting reimbursed later.

That’s difficult for people on a fixed income,

With a situation like this it is out of your control, and for Darlene Speller it’s put her in a depression and she is at a loss.

“Betsy has brought me a long ways, I tell you, a long ways,” said Speller

Betsy is Speller’s once reliable Dodge Stratus, until she drank diesel fuel on accident.

“I purchased the gas on the 12th of July. and I drove the car not knowing the gas was bad. I went to the store, and I noticed that when I was coming back my car was running rough,” Speller said.

That’s when she enlisted the help of her brother, Theo Bland, to fix what they thought was the problem.

“We thought maybe it was the coil pack or the spark plugs because it did need a tune up. So we put the coil pack and the spark plugs in and she still had problems,” said Bland.

But after watching 10 On Your Side’s report of diesel fuel at the pumps she knew that was the problem.

She filed a claim, hoping it would lead to a solution

“I called around to get estimate for my car and I was told that I would have to have the car towed in at my expense, I would have to pay for the car to be fixed at my expense, and let Sam’s reimburse me.”

An expense estimated at upwards of $700.

“I’m disabled and live on a fixed income so I’m unable to pay upfront to get it fixed,” Speller said. 

Darlene says she loves Sam’s, but she needs a way to go to her medical appointments and live her life.

She is asking for help.

“I have no transportation. I just want Sam’s to step up and do the right thing,” Speller said. 

Speller’s car is paid off, so she says she only has liability insurance that can’t help much in this situation.

10 On Your Side reached out to Sam’s Club to see if there is an alternate solution for her. We have not heard back yet.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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