24-year-old Desiree Evancio is undergoing a fourth major surgery tonight after she was hit by a van and then dragged for several blocks in downtown Vancouver.
Evancio was born and raised in Ottawa and moved to Vancouver about a year ago to be closer to her older sister.
Tonight her friends in the capital, who are reeling from the news, say they will be leaving their jobs here and heading to Vancouver to support their friend.
“It’s going to be difficult, I mean, she’s had severe damage to her face, and obviously mobility,” said Braeden Radmore, who attended Gloucester High School with Evancio.
It’s unclear if Evancio will walk again, according to friends and family. In a gofundme page set up by her sister, Ashley Danh explains that Evancio will require several surgeries going forward, including facial reconstruction and a prosthetic eye.
“Her life’s not going to be the life she expected to live, but she’s alive and I know by Desiree - she’s a fighter,” Radmore said.
Radmore described Evancio as outdoorsy and adventurous, saying she would often go hiking or climbing mountains in B.C.
“This is going to be the toughest mountain she’s ever climbed,” Radmore said. “She’s going to make it through this, I know her.”
Derek Hamilton, who also attended High School with Evancio, said he was still trying to come to terms with what had happened. Hamilton found some comfort in the support she was receiving online.
“Just seeing almost country wide the rally that’s going on behind her, it’s really amazing to see,” Hamilton said.
Vancouver police say the driver of the van, an American in his 30’s, is cooperating with the ongoing investigation. No charges have been laid.