Mother of 3 from Ukraine faces long road to recovery after Edmonton hit and run

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian newcomer and daughter victims of Edmonton hit and run'
Ukrainian newcomer and daughter victims of Edmonton hit and run
The victims of a serious hit and run in Edmonton this week have been identified as a Ukrainian newcomer and her six-year-old daughter. Sarah Ryan has more on their history and the recovery ahead – Mar 20, 2024

A mother of three who is a newcomer to Edmonton from Ukraine is facing a long road to recovery after she was seriously injured in a hit and run earlier this week.

Olha Demianchuk, 38, was walking her six-year-old daughter to school on Monday morning when she was struck by a vehicle in a marked crosswalk at 82nd Avenue and 97th Street. The vehicle fled the scene and police are still working to locate the driver.

Demianchuk pushed her daughter out of the vehicle’s path, suffering serious injuries in the process. She broke both of her arms and her pelvis,. She remains in the University of Alberta Hospital awaiting surgery.

“We’re very concerned. It’s a very scary situation,” said Janice Krissa, co-founder of Free Store for Ukrainian Newcomers. “We’re very concerned about her health and her well-being. She’s going to need a lot of support.”

Story continues below advertisement

Demianchuk has volunteered at the free store for the past year, after arriving in Edmonton from Ukraine with her husband and three children in December 2022.

She and her husband do not speak English, so navigating the health-care system after the accident has been very challenging.

“There’s a lot of support that’s needed with asking questions in the hospital, asking questions about the police report,” said Krissa, who has been to the hospital to visit Demianchuk.

Olha Demianchuk, 38, and her three children. Supplied to Global News

The president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council said the organization is providing support to the family, including a social worker who has been in the hospital with the family to help, particularly with language translation.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

“There’s a lot of challenges, a lot of barriers that they face in navigating even through the medical system,” Orysia Boychuk said. “Understanding what the medical physicians are even saying, the process and what they needed to do and the forms they needed to fill out… every step of the way they really do need assistance.”

Story continues below advertisement

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family through this difficult time.

“We were grateful that the daughter was OK and very saddened about Olha and her injuries,” Boychuk said. “It will be taking a long time to recover and the journey to recover will require a lot of support along the way.”

Krissa said Demianchuk’s husband has had to take time off work to care for his injured wife and the rest of his family.

“She’s very concerned about the child, we all are, because the child witnessed something extremely traumatic,” Krissa said, describing Demianchuk as a very caring, compassionate mother.

“Family is very important to them,” she continued. “There’s so much stress for the family right now. If we can alleviate some of that, we will.”

Olha Demianchuk, 38, her husband and six-year-old daughter. Supplied to Global News

The suspect vehicle — a damaged 2011 or 2012 orange Dodge Journey — was later located. The Edmonton Police Service’s major collision investigations section continues to search for the driver.

Story continues below advertisement

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

Sponsored content