Washington woman dies 6 days after SUV flipped into water-filled ditch
A Surrey church community is mourning a 42-year-old woman from Bellingham, Wash. who died in hospital Friday after a tragic car accident left her in a coma last week.
“Everybody calls her our angel—the angel of St. George,” said Father Bisenty Gerges of the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church.
On Sunday, Oct. 1, Mariam Ghaly was driving near 48 Avenue with her husband and two teenage children when she was cut off by a motorcyclist weaving erratically in and out of traffic.
Ghaly swerved to avoid hitting the rider, police said, then overcorrected, flipping the family’s Honda CR-V into a water-filled ditch.
Quick-thinking strangers were able to help Ghaly’s husband, Wagih, 13-year old son, Kyrollos, and 15-year-old daughter, Marina. The woman at the wheel, however, was trapped in the submerged vehicle for about 10 minutes.
After six days in a coma, Ghaly died in hospital on Friday.
The 42-year-old spent much of her time at St. George worshipping and teaching Sunday school.
“(The Ghaly family) are the first people for years and years to come to the church, even sometimes before me,” Gerges said.
Now, church-goers are remembering Ghaly as a loving mother, wife, and dedicated volunteer.
“We love her. We love all (the) family,” said Mamet Tesfazghi, whose children were Ghaly’s class. “She’s so amazing. She’s an angel…I can’t believe it.”
Wagih is an engineer who worked in Vancouver, Wash. during the week would return home to Bellingham on the weekends.
After the accident, he was forced to quit his job to be with the children.
The church has since set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Ghaly’s medical and funeral costs as well as to help the family with the financial uncertainty that lies ahead.
“I drove them back to Bellingham and it was a moment I can’t describe when they entered the house for the first time and the mother is not there,” Gerges said.
According to Surrey RCMP, the registered owner of the motorcycle that allegedly caused the crash was taken into custody, but later released without any criminal charges.
Ghaly’s funeral will be held at the church on Friday.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Allison Tanner