Parents of Richmond Hill woman killed by suspected drunk driver say accused has to learn a lesson
Julia Baciu’s parents Irina and Calin say they saw their only daughter around 9 a.m. on Sunday, she was off to the gym and seemed happy as always.
Fourteen hours later, when Julia’s mother went to check on her daughter thinking she was home, she realized the 21-year-old was still out and then saw flashing lights in the window of the family’s Richmond Hill home.
Moments later, York Regional Police rang the doorbell.
“They asked, ‘What do you know about your daughter?’ I said, ‘She was at the movies around 7 p.m.,” Irina recalled.
“Then one of the officers said, ‘OK, your daughter died in an accident.’ We could not believe it.”
Julia was a passenger in her boyfriend’s Chevrolet Cruze and police said it was involved in a collision at the corner of Bayview Avenue and Woodriver Street at around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Police said the Cruze was struck by a Toyota Camry being driven by 21-year-old Seyed Yashar Tolouei of Toronto.
Investigators arrested Toluei at the scene and charged him with five counts, including impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, refusing to provide a breath sample, operating a motor vehicle dangerously to the public causing death, and operating a motor vehicle dangerously to the public causing bodily harm.
Baciu was pronounced dead at the scene. Her boyfriend was taken to hospital in serious condition.
Baciu’s father said he’s still in shock, but will push through for his other child, Cristian, who is a paramedic with Halton Region.
“Now I’m destroyed, but we have to move on,” he said.
Julia had just finished a four-year Bachelors of Arts degree at York University’s Glendon Campus. She majored in Spanish and French. In her fourth year, she was on a full scholarship and worked as a teaching assistant in the Spanish program at Glendon. Her parents said they were very proud of her.
The family said she planned on starting two years of teacher’s college in September with the goal of becoming a high school French teacher.
“We were so happy and this guy just destroyed our happiness,” Irina said as she choked back tears.
The accused spoke to Global News after being released from jail on Monday afternoon on $30,000 in bail. Tolouei denied he was impaired.
Baciu’s parents were not aware Tolouei had spoken publicly and watched the interview. They said it didn’t change anything.
“He has to pay,” Calin said.
“I didn’t wish bad for anyone in my life. I was always forgiving. But I feel like I cannot forgive this guy — I cannot,” Irina said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the cost of Baciu’s funeral.
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