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'Driving is pain free': one Colorado Springs woman getting behind the big wheel in a new career path

Class A commercial drivers license
Posted at 1:04 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 15:06:19-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs woman is making history as one of the first female double below-the-knee amputees to receive her Class A commercial drivers license.

27-year-old Lexie Bader is a Colorado native.

“I do competitive snowboarding, I love camping, kayaking, and traveling,” Bader said.

She grew up in Boulder and now lives in Colorado Springs.

“So I am a double amputee and most jobs for me are just really difficult,” Bader said.

When Bader is not modeling, hiking the incline or on the slopes, she spends most of her time behind the wheel.

“I am an Uber driver, have been doing it for about five and a half years on and off, racking up a lot of miles, though, so I'm thinking about some other jobs,” Bader said.

For Bader, finding a career that works for her has not been easy.

“I don't want to live on disability and that's my goal this year and my goal is also to finally be able to be at a job where I love it, like Uber driving, but where I can actually make a savings and like a living for myself because I've never been able to do that,” Bader said.

She was searching for a job on the road that provides more benefits when her boyfriend, Zach Heyne, suggested truck driving.

"When I was 17 I actually got my Class A license. So I kind of knew before bringing it up what it entailed, you know, you pass the test and you know kind of how it worked and I just thought you could do it and she seemed like the idea and here we are,” Heyne said.

Bader took online classes, passed five written tests and received her permit.

"So I have to get 30 hours with the school of driving a semi around Colorado Springs,” Bader said.

She will soon have her Class A Commercial License from the United States Truck Driving School in Fountain, Colorado.

"For me, it's just to just drive and like to have one job where I can actually make money for myself, for the first time in my life, I think is the part that I'm most excited about,” Bader said.

Bader knows truck driving is not a popular career for women and she does not expect to have many female classmates at driving school.

"They have never trained a double amputee, so I'm like 'sweet, let's be the first,'” Bader said.

Bader hopes she can be an inspiration to other women and to amputees.

"I think a lot of other amputees struggle with work and struggle with kind of the same like struggles that I've been dealing with for the last four years of being an amputee and I just hope that if they think that they can't be a truck driver because of that, I hope that they see this and maybe think twice of I can do that,” Bader said.

Despite a few nerves, Bader said her passion for driving is fueling her new career.

Bader is set to graduate with her trucking certificate at the end of May.

Local woman becomes one of the first double below-the-knee amputees to get trucking license