Family of woman badly injured in Toronto van attack speaks out

WATCH ABOVE: Family members of a woman who was struck by a vehicle that jumped the curb at Yonge and Finch on Monday, are speaking out. Shallima Maharaj has the details.

When Menab Tesfu woke up Tuesday morning, it was to the news that his aunt had been hospitalized after a deadly rampage on the streets of Toronto.

Alek Minassian, 25, is facing 10 first-degree murder charges for allegedly plowing into pedestrians along Yonge Street. He is also charged with 13 counts of attempted murder.

One of the victims is Amaresh Tesfamariam. Her nephew tells Global News she is a nurse.

READ MORE: Toronto van attack suspect charged with 10 counts of 1st-degree murder, 13 of attempted murder

Menab said he suspects she was either heading home or on her way to work when she was struck.

“She’s a single woman (and) has no kids. She works everyday,” he said in a Skype interview on Tuesday.

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“She’s a self-made woman. So it’s really hard to see something like this could happen to her.”

READ MORE: Van attack suspect Alek Minassian’s deadly drive down Yonge Street

Menab and his family live in Texas. He said his mother is flying to Toronto to be by her sister’s bedside.

Friends have been keeping them posted on her prognosis. They said she has suffered an injury to her spine.

“Most of her family is here in the States and she’s in Toronto by herself. So she’s going to have a lot of expenses,” said Menab.

“We’re trying to make sure she can still live the normal life that she’s lived.”

He launched a GoFundMe campaign on Tuesday in the hopes that it would allow her to do just that.

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Ryerson University is also acknowledging the attack. President and vice-chancellor Mohamed Lachemi extended his condolences in a statement.

“We were extremely saddened to learn that one of our TRSM alumni, Anne Marie D’Amico, was a victim of yesterday’s tragedy. Our thoughts are with Anne Marie’s family, friends, and loved ones at this difficult time,” he said.

READ MORE: Toronto van attack: Chul Min ‘Eddie’ Kang among those killed in deadly rampage

We have also learned that a second alumna and a Ryerson contract lecturer were also injured. They are in our thoughts and we wish them well as they recover.”

The contract lecturer they are referring to has been identified as Amir Kiumarsi by a number of sources.

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