Truck destroyed in 3-car fire was a family heirloom; Owner: “I’m mad at the kid that did it”


SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Joe Lafferty’s 1986 Chevy Scottsdale was more than just a truck, it was a cherished heirloom. Lafferty was there the day his granddad bought it.

On Wednesday, June 3, that truck was destroyed in a three-car fire, after a juvenile speeding away from police crashed into two other vehicles in the parking lot of a Paul Mueller building in Springfield.

Juvenile suspect in custody after 3-car fire, caused by crash in Springfield

“To me,” Lafferty told reporter, Melanie Chapman, “it wasn’t my truck that was burning it was my dad, my grandpa, my uncles.”

“It was everybody that influenced me the whole time I was growing up. So, I ran back inside and I grabbed a fire extinguisher and I tried to put it out but, the fire was too hot. I was scared and, you know, I heard my grandpa tell me, ‘Just get the hell away from it.’.”

Lafferty and his family put a lot of time, money, and mostly heart into restoring the truck. His close friends and coworkers at Paul Mueller even helped out.

“That truck was a dream of mine from the time I was a little kid,” he told Chapman.

“I mean my boys and I restored that truck as well as some really close friends from here at work. We put a lot of hours and time into that truck to fix it. And then for some kid in a stolen car to take it away from me, it was hard…You know, I’m mad. I’m mad at the kid that did it. But, I just keep telling myself if he had a grandpa or a dad or the uncle’s that I had he wouldn’t have been doing what he was doing.”

Since the fire, Lafferty has relocated the truck. He says it was in a junkyard. Now, after verifying the VIN, he plans to start over.

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