Toronto

'Beloved' nurse hurt in 2018 Toronto van attack dies of injuries 3 years later

A 65-year-old woman who suffered severe injuries in Toronto's deadly van attack on April 23, 2018, has died after spending more than three years in hospital, police say.

Amaresh Tesfamariam had been in hospital since she was struck, police say

Amaresh Tesfamariam worked as a registered practical nurse at Fudger House, a long-term care facility operated by the city. (Submitted by Haben Tesfamariam)

A 65-year-old woman who suffered severe injuries in Toronto's deadly van attack has died after spending more than three years in hospital, police announced Thursday.

Police said in a news release that Amaresh Tesfamariam of Toronto had been in hospital since the attack on April 23, 2018, and died on Oct. 28 of the injuries she suffered.

Tesfamariam was one of 14 people struck when Alek Minassian drove a rented van down a sidewalk on Yonge Street, near Finch Avenue, that day. Her death raises the number of people who died to 11.

Tesfamariam worked as a registered practical nurse at Fudger House, a long-term care facility operated by the city.

CUPE Local 79 tweeted that Tesfamariam was "beloved" by colleagues and residents there.

"You hear about these kind of attacks that happen on the news at the time. When you're in the situation ... it's just very sobering," her nephew, Haben Tesfamariam, told CBC News days after the attack.

He described his aunt as a loving person who had dedicated her life to nursing and helping others. 

Tesfamariam, who died in hospital on Oct. 28, was one of 14 people struck when Alek Minassian drove a rented van down a sidewalk on Yonge Street on April 23, 2018. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press)

Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy found Minassian, who was 25 at the time of the attack, guilty on 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. Minassian is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11, 2022 to possibly set a date for sentencing. 

Toronto police say Tesfamariam's death is now considered a homicide, but Minassian will not face another murder charge.

Police spokesperson Const. David Hopkinson said the charge can't be upgraded to first-degree murder because too much time has elapsed since she was injured.

"It is my understanding that a new charge will not be laid," Hopkinson said. "But the judge will consider that there is a new victim in sentencing."

With files from The Canadian Press

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