Ottawa woman in for long recovery after being dragged by van
Family says 24-year-old will need facial reconstruction and years of rehabilitation
An Ottawa woman will require facial reconstruction surgery and is facing a lengthy recovery after she was hit and dragged by a van in British Columbia.
Desiree Evancio, 24, was walking in downtown Vancouver at 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 12 when she was struck by a white van and became trapped underneath, police said.
Evancio was rushed to hospital and underwent four emergency operations to address her traumatic injuries, said Ashley Danh, her older sister.
Once Evancio is out of the intensive care unit, she'll require years of rehabilitation to relearn how to walk and communicate, Danh told CBC News.
"Of course, we want to know how she got under the trailer of the vehicle, but right now we are trying to focus on her health," said Danh, who has been staying with her sister in the hospital.
"She won't walk out of the hospital the same person."
'Hard-working, free spirited'
Evancio attended Gloucester High School. She studied to be a mechanic and worked in several local garages before moving to B.C.
Before the collision, she was a server at the Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill in Vancouver, Danh said.
"She's hard-working, free-spirited and loves the outdoors," said Danh.
"One of Desiree's favourite things to do is to climb a tree and read in it. Mobility issues will make it hard for her to climb, but I think what will be more difficult is adjusting to a new face," Danh said.
Evancio will now require facial reconstruction surgery because of the severity of her injuries, Danh said, and will lose her right eye as well as mobility in one of her arms.
"Her face was taken from her," she said.
Impaired driving a possible factor
According to Vancouver police, the man who was driving the van is in his 30s and from the United States. He was taken into custody but later released.
"It was only after [the driver] had pulled over and stopped that he realized that this woman had been pinned under his vehicle and had suffered some very serious injuries," said Vancouver Police Sgt. Steve Addison.
Addison said impaired driving may have been a factor.
"At this point we do believe that alcohol may have played a role in the collision, but we are conducting further investigation to determine the circumstances of the event," he said.
While no charges have been laid, police continue to investigate.