Police are providing a clearer picture of how a Vancouver woman was dragged for blocks through the Downtown Eastside after becoming trapped underneath a van and trailer.
The incident left 24-year-old Desiree Evancio with life-changing injuries, including traumatic damage to her face.
Vancouver police now say it appears the victim had approached the vehicle in traffic.
“The investigation is ongoing, and no conclusions have been made,” Vancouver police Sgt. Aaron Roed wrote in an email.
“We can confirm that new evidence indicates the victim walked between the van and cargo trailer as it was stopped in traffic.”
The van was being driven by a member of touring U.S. punk band Off With Their Heads, which cancelled its North American tour in the wake of the incident.
Police said the driver had gone to retrieve the vehicle from Jackson Street and was driving it back along Hastings Street to Columbia Street when the incident occurred.
The driver did not realize Evancio was pinned under the vehicle until he parked, according to police.
Police said last week they believe the driver had “a degree of alcohol impairment” but did not speak to whether he had exceeded the legal limit. Investigators were still working to determine “what role, if any, that alcohol impairment had” in the incident, said a police spokesperson.
The driver was arrested and released the night of the incident, and no one has been charged. Police say the man is free to leave B.C. and that they expect he would return if legally compelled.
It’s not clear what Evancio was doing on East Hastings Street at the time of the collision. Her sister Ashley Danh said Evancio had gone to Playland with friends earlier in the evening, but her final hours before the incident remain unclear.
Evancio’s injuries are expected to affect her for the rest of her life. She has undergone four surgeries, including one to restructure her jaw and skull, and surgeons are considering a B.C.-first face transplant.
Danh said her sister also lost an eye and will have little or no mobility in one arm and one leg.
Supporters have started a fundraiser with a $1-million goal out of concern that the U.S. driver’s insurance may not cover her lifelong medical and rehabilitation needs.