Late judge's wheelchair van donated to police chief with ALS

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — A blue wheelchair van once used to transport a Massachusetts judge with ALS to work and doctor's appointments has been donated to a police chief battling the same condition.

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Rose Boyle, the wife of late Springfield District Court Judge William Boyle, turned over the keys to the van to Lee Police Chief Jeffrey Roosa during a meeting Tuesday of the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, according to Masslive.com.

Roosa has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the same condition that claimed Boyle's life in September.

Roosa, 46, was diagnosed with the disease in 2017. He continues to work, drives his car some and uses a wheelchair and a cane to get around. He knows eventually he will need the van.

Roosa thanked the Boyle family and said the gift will help defray costs for his family as he continues to fight the disease.

“It is one of the reasons I became a police officer. They take care of each other,” he said.

The van is equipped with a wheelchair lift and includes two specially designed motorized wheelchairs.

“My husband would want this,” Rose Boyle said. “He had the utmost respect for people who put their lives on the line every day.”