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Amputee’s special bicycle found, returned

Sat., Sept. 10, 2005

A modified bicycle has been found and returned to the triple amputee motivational speaker who had it stolen from his car earlier this week.

The bike belonging to Bob Mortimer, of Gig Harbor, Wash., was found in bushes near Heritage House, an assisted-living facility located directly behind the Spokane hotel where the victim had been staying. It was returned Friday to Mortimer after employees at the facility read an article in The Spokesman-Review about the theft and recognized the modified bike from the description given.

Mortimer lost both of his legs and one arm in a drunken driving accident in which he was electrocuted by downed power lines. He changed his life and began using his story as the basis for motivational speeches that he gives to groups.

Mortimer came to Spokane this week to speak during an assembly at Northwood Middle School and to ride the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes with his wife and three children.

But those plans were scrapped when the family awoke at their north Spokane hotel room Wednesday to find the $1,500 bike – which can be pedaled, steered and braked with one hand – had been stolen from their car rack while the family’s other bikes were left behind.

The thief apparently realized the mistake and threw the bike into the bushes where Sue Clover, a nurse’s aide at the assisted living facility, found it. Sara Perry, who works as a nurse’s aid with Clover, said they were able to track down Mortimer after reading the article.

“We’re happy we could return it,” Perry said.

Although Mortimer was unable to ride the trail, he said his family enjoyed it.

“They loved the trail. My wife said it was the best trail they have ever been on,” he said. “So, it looks like I’ll have to come back someday, which is not a bad thing. This is not a bad place to have to come back to.”


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