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Community has raised $18,000 to send crash victim’s body back to family in India

Martin van den Hemel   Jan-02-2018

EstherSita Anthonyraj Achari, at right.

Photo courtesy GoFundMe

Friends of a young woman who died in a tragic crash in North Richmond last week, have rallied around her family and helped raise more than $18,000.

According to a GoFundMe page ( organized by Shathesh Kuhendrarajah, aspiring nurse EstherSita Anthonyraj Achari was the pedestrian struck by a Canada Post semi tractor around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at Sea Island Way and Garden City Road. She succumbed to her life-threatening injuries in hospital.



Friends want to help the family ship Achari’s body back to them in India for a funeral, and had hoped to raise $8,000 to cover those costs. As of Tuesday morning, the total had already reached $18,985.

“Esther came to Canada in hopes of fulfilling her family’s dreams,” Kuhendrarajah wrote on the website. “She was a nurse back home at Hiranandani Hospital in Mumbai, India.”

Achari had spent more than a year in school in Canada, trying obtain her nursing licence here.

“She just recently got her care aid licence,” and was working at local long-term care facility Minoru Residence.

“She was in her final stages of exams to obtain her Canadian RN licence,” the GoFundMe page story states.

Achari’s parents had sold the family home to send Esther to Canada, Kuhendrarajah wrote.

After obtaining a full-time job, Achari began taking care of their needs.

“This loss has affected her parents beyond what words can describe.”

Friends expressed shock at the circumstances surrounding her death.

“She was the most cautious one out of the bunch. She is the type to take a long way around just to follow the rules,” Kuhendrarajah said on the website.

“We are trying to send her remains by flight to India in a timely manner so that her parents can rest her in peace. Thank you for your support.”

The Go Fund me page was created last Friday, and had already amassed nearly 200 donations.

In an update on the site, organizer Kuhendrarajah was thankful for the outpouring of generosity.

“I haven’t got around to thanking everyone for their kindness and generosity during this difficult time. We are in constant contact with Esther’s parents in India; they find comfort knowing people are giving so much support.”

Representing the family locally is Sathiabama Rajaratnam, who will be making arrangements for sending Esther’s body back to India.

“She is also arranging a memorial service for friends and family to attend that are in Canada,” Kuhendrarajah wrote in a Sunday post.

Richmond Mounties said neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the accident, which occurred about a half block from Costco.

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call RCMP Const. Kobayashi at 604-278-1212.

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