Andrea Christidis memorial bench

A bench was unveiled outside of Medway-Sydenham residence in memory of Andrea Christidis, an 18-year-old first-year student who died on October 9, 2015 after being struck by a drunk driver. 

A Western student struck by an alleged impaired driver late last Wednesday night has passed away.

Andrea Christidis, an 18-year-old first-year health sciences student, succumbed to injuries sustained in the incident and was pronounced dead at London Health Sciences Centre on Friday.

Christidis was a resident of Medway-Sydenham Hall and was from Scarborough, Ontario.

Her death has sparked a petition to install guard rails on Western’s campus. The online petition, started by former Western student Kevin Ross, is posted on change.org and has garnered over 2,100 signatures.

“As a former Western student I should have spoken up earlier about this problem as cars are continuously getting too close to walkers on campus,” the petition says. “I believe it is time to start building measures to help protect future generations of Western students who are loved. Rest in peace Andrea Christidis.”

On Sunday, Christidis’ uncle, Meni Rizakos, read a statement from the family in front of Toronto media.

“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 of those that she touched,” he said. “Her family wishes to express its deepest gratitude to all of the nurses, doctors and support staff who provided compassionate care and comfort to Andrea and her family.”

“Her beautiful smile, kind soul and infectious spirit will be missed,” the statement added.

Christidis was walking on the sidewalk on Lambton Drive near Talbot College and the indoor tennis courts on Wednesday evening around 11:30 p.m. when a car jumped the curb and struck her. She was walking home from a study lab. Witnesses say she was thrown roughly 20 yards by the vehicle.

Today Western will lower its flag on UC Hill in her honour.

Western president Amit Chakma released a statement over the weekend as well, to offer his sympathy.

“This is a terrible tragedy and Andrea’s death saddens me deeply,” Chakma said. “I know that I speak for the entire Western community when I say that my heart goes out to her family and friends at this most difficult time.”

Christidis graduated from Leaside High School in June with an honours diploma in both French and English, and had aspirations of working in the medical field.

Today at 11 a.m. there will be a funeral at St. Demetrios Church in Toronto.

Western said counselling services are available to students, staff and faculty on their website or by calling 1-866-925-5454.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as 24-year-old Jared DeJong, has been 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 by the London Police Service.

DeJong appeared in court last week and was released on $1,500 bail on conditions that include driving and alcohol bans. He is next scheduled to appear in court on November 3.

The LPS is currently investigating and has requested anyone with information in relation to this incident to contact them.

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