A woman who was struck by a van and dragged for up to seven blocks on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside will need up to a year in hospital and a lifetime of recovery, according to friends and family.
Desiree Evancio was hit around 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning on Hastings Street between Columbia and Jackson streets. Police believe the American driver may have been impaired.
Evancio’s sister Ashley Danh told Global News the 24-year-old was undergoing her fourth surgery on Wednesday, an eight to 10 hour procedure to reconstruct her face.
According to a GoFundMe for Evancio, she had moved to Vancouver from Ontario.
Supporters say she remains in “very critical condition” in Vancouver General Hospital and will require multiple additional surgeries.
1:55Woman dragged for blocks by vehicle in Downtown Eastside Woman dragged for blocks by vehicle in Downtown Eastside
“Bone and tissue needs to be cut and taken from her leg and formed in replace of her cheek bone,” wrote Danh wrote in the GoFundMe.
“Her jaw, currently broken in three places will have a plate inserted to realign it. The list will go on.”
Dahn said her sister lost an eye and will also likely need a prosthetic, and that she will have little to no mobility in her right arm and left leg.
Supporters have set a $1 million goal on the fundraiser out of concern the U.S. driver’s insurance may not cover her life-long medical and rehabilitation needs.
“US insurance policies can be as low as 20,000 dollars,” wrote Dahn.
“We are going to investigate and find out what his insurance if any covers but the likelihood is poor that we will receive enough endurance money to cover the many years of rehabilitation Desiree will need.”
According to Vancouver police, the driver was arrested after the crash but has been released pending the outcome of the investigation.
Hastings Street has a 30 kilometre per hour speed limit for the Downtown Eastside, which begins at Jackson Street.
However, residents and advocates for the area admit jaywalking is a problem in the neighbourhood.