Family of Andrea Christidis releases statement following her death
Andrea Christidis, 18, is seen in this photo from a memorial page on Facebook (Elias Ketz / Facebook)
The family of Andrea Christidis, the Western University student who was struck and killed by an alleged impaired driver last week is speaking out.
The Christidis family declined to go on camera, but released a statement late Sunday afternoon.
"The family and loved ones of Andrea Maria Christidis, a first-year Health Sciences student at the University of Western Ontario in London, are heartbroken and deeply saddened to confirm that she was struck by a driver who has been charged with impaired driving offences as the result of an incident which occurred Wednesday evening, October 7th, at approximately 10:10 pm.
Andrea was struck by a vehicle as she walked on a sidewalk on the University campus, returning to her nearby dorm from a study lab.
Andrea came under the observation and care of the CCTU unit at Victoria Hospital in London. Her family expresses its deepest gratitude to all of the nurses, doctors, and support staff who provided compassionate care and comfort to Andrea and her family.
Many, many members of her family and friends as well as local London Greek Orthodox Priest, Father Elias, were at her side at the time of her passing on Friday Oct 9th.
Andrea recently graduated from Leaside High School in Toronto with an Honours Diploma in both French and English. She was extremely proud to begin her studies in Health Sciences and was excited to have chosen Western. She had aspirations of pursuing her dreams of a career in the medical field.
Andrea was a kind, compassionate and loving human being. She was deeply loved, as reflected by the outpouring of condolences, sympathies and prayers from all those that she touched. Her beautiful smile, kind soul and infectious spirit will be missed.
May her memory be eternal.
The family condemns the scourge of impaired driving and requests privacy as the family grieves its tragic loss."
Christidis succumbed to her injuries at London Health Sciences Centre on Friday.
Meanwhile, funeral services have been set.
Visitation for Christidis, the first-year Health Sciences student from Scarborough will be held Tuesday, October 13th from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Centre in Toronto.
A funeral service will take place on Wednesday at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Toronto at 11 a.m.
Emergency crews responded to the collision on Lambton Drive south of University Drive around 11:35 p.m.
Police say a vehicle heading northbound lost control, jumped the curb and struck the female who was walking on the sidewalk.
Her injuries were listed as “severe" and "life-threatening” at the time.
The driver, Jared DeJong, 24, of London, was arrested at the scene and appeared in a London court Thursday.
He is charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm, impaired operation causing bodily harm and having in excess of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
The charges will likely be upgraded.
He was released from custody after posting $1,500 bail and is subject to several conditions including a driving ban and not to consume alcohol.
His next court appearance is on Nov. 3.
In a statement released on Facebook, the Hellenic Society of UWO expressed its condolences.
“Andrea had just begun her studies in the faculty of Health Sciences at Western. We are forced to say goodbye too soon to a smart and beautiful young woman, for reasons that are inexcusable and could have been prevented,” the statement reads. ”Please join us in sending our love, prayers and condolences to the Christidis family. Let us keep her memory alive. And please, drinking and driving should NEVER be an option.”