A group of complete strangers have chipped in to replace a woman's car after it was overturned and destroyed during the Stanley Cup riot.

Chilliwack student Crystal Ratvay's previous car broke down in April. Unable to afford repairs, her aunt generously gave her a red 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier – just hours before the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins faced off in Game 7.

She drove it into Vancouver and parked it downtown to watch the game at a friend's house.

When the riot broke out, she tried to find her car but was stopped by a police officer. "He's like, ‘If your car's down there, you no longer have a vehicle,'" Ratvay said.

Ratvay had only basic insurance, and the damage was not covered. The car was meant to be her ride to school in Abbotsford, as well as her means of visiting her grandfather in the hospital. He passed away not long after the riot.

"I never got to talk to him," Ratvay said. "That car meant more to me than just a vehicle."

But when her friend Michael Didyk decided to share her story on Facebook, the response was overwhelming.

Through fundraisers and donations, her friends collected roughly $1,600. Among the donors was Langley resident Mark Woodall, who helped land Ratvay a 2001 Cavalier selling for more than $5,000.

"We approached the dealership here and asked them to work with us," Woodall told CTV News. "It won't cost her anything."

Ratvay picked up her car on Saturday, thanking everyone who helped turn a destructive act into an inspirational one.

"I've cried so much in the past week so I'm just teared out right now," she said. "I'm just in awe."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber