Cancer awareness truck torched, community heartbroken

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GIBSONVILLE, N.C.  (WGHP) — Some people wear their heart on their sleeves; others, like Chad Smith, use their big pink truck to tell the world how they feel.

“I feel like I’m bringing hope to people with the truck and I just hate that someone has destroyed it,” said Smith.

The truck known as “One Bad Chad” has been around for one year. It was burned early Thursday morning and investigators told Smith that an accelerant was used to torch the vehicle.

FOX8 asked Smith if he knew why anyone would target his vehicle.

“I would love to know the answer,” said Smith. “Whenever you do good things there’s always going to be people out there trying to bring you down.”

Smith used the truck to travel around the country, raising awareness about the benefit of cancer screenings and visiting cancer patients.

“I get nothing but hugs and smiles,” said Smith. “They like it because it feels like somebody is on their side that can relate to what they’re going through.”

Smith’s mother Bonnie, of Gibsonville, died from breast cancer in 2009. For the last few years, he’s been an advocate for cancer education, but last year he felt like he had to do more. He lifted his truck and painted the entire thing pink.

It was a move that had some comparing the vehicle to a monster truck.

“It’s dedicated to everyone fighting cancer whether little kid, man, woman or infant — just keep on fighting because this truck is dedicated to all you all,” said Zach Smith, Chad’s son.

Chad said his truck may be destroyed but he’ll have another one to replace it soon.

“We’re going to rebuild the truck somehow, someway and keep raising awareness in my mother’s name,” said Smith. “There is a blessing in all this, I just can’t figure out how yet.”

Read more reaction from WGHP.