Family, friends and community are working together to find a way to return to a family in India the body of a pedestrian who died a day after being struck by a Canada Post truck.
Esthersita Anthonyraj Achari, 27, was a nurse from Mumbai, India. She had been studying in B.C. to upgrade her nursing credentials to a Canadian nursing licence.
Her cousin Shathesh Kuhendrarajah said Achari had recently started working as a care aide in Richmond Hospital. Her parents had wanted her to come to Canada and sold their house to make it possible, he said.
"She could see a very bright future for herself ... like her life was just starting to brighten up," Kuhendrarajah said, adding that Achari had joined his family for a homecooked meal the day before the accident.
Her aunt, Sathia Rajaratnam, said she would miss Achari's sweet voice.
"She was a very beautiful person," she said. "She wanted to do so much... she said in 2018, she was going to achieve many things in her life."
Achari was hit by the Canada Post truck near the intersection of Garden City Road and Sea Island Way shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27. Police say she died of her injuries on Thursday night.
"For this to happen the next day it was so heart wrenching," said Kuhendrarajah.
Now Achari's family and friends are trying to raise funds to return her body back to her parents in India.
"In order to send her body to India, it's going to cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000," Kuhendrarajah said.
"She doesn't have any immediate family here and obviously we don't want to burden her family in India with the expenses."
Kuhendrarajah says the response so far has been overwhelming. An online fundraiser had already reached more than $18,000 by Monday night.
"She wasn't alone here in Canada ... that she touched so many people's lives [is] shown by this much support."
With files from Farrah Merali and Megan Batchelor