Woman dragged by van badly hurt in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The community is rallying to raise money for a young woman badly injured after she was dragged by a van in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Desiree Evancio, 24, was struck by a van at Hastings Street and Jackson Avenue at 12:30 a.m. last Saturday.

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She was caught under the vehicle, which continued to travel along Hastings west for four blocks before it stopped.

As of Friday, a GoFundMe page had raised more than $117,500 of a $1-million goal. Evancio’s sister, Ashley Danh, said the reason they’re trying to raise $1 million is because it’s likely the driver’s U.S. insurance won’t cover her sister’s recovery costs.

Evancio, who worked at the Shark Club, is in Vancouver General Hospital with life-threatening injuries that include the loss of her right eye, a crushed jaw and multiple broken bones in her body, according to Danh.

Police continue to investigate as new details have emerged from CTV News that the van belonged to the American punk-rock band Off With Their Heads, which had been playing at a nearby restaurant. A note on the band’s Facebook page said they have cancelled their tour after one of their members was involved in an accident on Oct. 12 in Vancouver.

The band’s frontman, Ryan Young, said they’re waiting for more information to come to light, but until then they don’t feel comfortable carrying on playing live shows. “Due to the sensitive nature of an accident a band member was involved with, I can’t elaborate any more than that,” he said.

Vancouver police spokesman Const. Steve Addison said investigators believed that alcohol might have a been a factor in the collision.

Addison said the driver and the vehicle were both from the U.S. and that the driver hadn’t been charged with a criminal offence. “I do not know if the driver has returned to the U.S.,” he said.

Danh wrote: “It is currently undetermined what lies ahead for [Evancio], what her recovery will be and whether she will have lifelong ailments because of this.”

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