9-year-old Syrian refugee dies after being hit by bus in B.C.
Published Saturday, December 2, 2017 10:03PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 2, 2017 10:57PM EST
A nine-year-old girl who died after being hit by a transit bus in Abbotsford, B.C. has been identified as a Syrian refugee who moved to Canada just over a year ago.
The little girl, who has been referred to as “Hala,” was on her way to school Friday morning. She was standing near a crosswalk when a bus hit her. She later died in hospital.
“I met the father yesterday in the hospital and he, needless to say, he was quite devastated,” Tahir Thalid, president of the Abbotsford Islamic Centre told CTV Vancouver. “We're trying our best to comfort the family.”
The family sought refuge from the turmoil in Syria by moving to Abbotsford more than a year ago.
Friends and family of the girl held a vigil Saturday to remember her life. She’s being remembered as a shy and sweet girl, but who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind.
“She was someone who always stood up for the right thing, even in school,” said Adnan Bhad, a family friend.
The local Muslim community has started a fundraiser to help the struggling family. Bhad says the girl’s father has been unable to land a secure job in Canada.
Parents at the girl’s school are calling for action when it comes to children’s safety in the area. They say that sometimes there is a crossing guard to help the kids cross safely where Hala was hit, but there wasn’t this time.
“This did not have to happen. My heart goes out to those parents so close to the holidays,” said Emerson Hernandez, a concerned father of a child at the school.
Both the police and the transit company continue to investigate.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karstens-Smith