Standing outside the Masjidur Rahmah mosque on Parliament Street after prayers, Ismathara Ratna’s widower struggles to believe his 39-year-old wife and mother of his three young children is gone.
“I want justice, I lost my wife,” Misbah Ahmed said, holding back tears.
Ahmed says his wife had just dropped the couple’s daughter off at Nelson Mandela Park public school after lunch and had walked to the corner of Dundas Street and Regent Park Boulevard, where she was waiting to cross the street at a marked intersection when she was struck and killed by an out of control vehicle.
“She was always telling our family, was warning other people about safety. Now she’s attacked. Allah will punish him and we want justice,” said one of Ratna’s victim’s brother Abdul Latif.
Police say it was 1:15 pm Thursday when the driver of a Honda CX9 travelling eastbound on Dundas lost control, mounted the curb and struck a fire hydrant before hitting Ratna. Investigators say the driver fled the scene but was later arrested at a nearby coffee shop.
Joshua Smoke, 40, has been charged with impaired driving by drugs cause death, dangerous driving causing death, leave the scene of an accident, and driving without insurance and a licence.
WATCH: ‘Everyone is so sad and so shocked’: Friends, family grieve after woman fatally struck by vehicle in Regent Park
Ahmed recalled the last time he saw his “lovely wife” was just before leaving home at 9 am Thursday when Ratna cooked him his favourite meal. The couple immigrated to Canada in 2000 from Bangladesh. The family worries about the couple’s three children, a daughter in grade one and two sons, one in grade seven, the other in grade eight.
“We want safe roads and we want fair justice,” explained Ahmed.
Abdul Hassan, another brother who was with Ismathara Ratna just minutes before she was killed, said Ratna was beloved. “All the community knew about my sister”.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help the family with expenses. Ratha’s five brothers say they live close to the Regent Park apartment where their lived with her family and will help Ahmed raise the children. The family says it’s waiting for police to release Ratna’s body before burying her.