The family of a B.C. woman struck by an alleged drunk driver during a trip to London, England said they’re floored by the flood of supportive letters they’ve received from loved ones and strangers in their hometown since the collision earlier this month.
Emily Goss, 24, suffered a head injury when she was struck by a car in the Colliers Wood neighbourhood of southwest London on June 15. She was back in England for a 10-day trip to see old friends, having spent some time living in the U.K. two years ago.
Goss and two friends took the night bus back to a friend’s apartment after a Saturday night get-together and stepped into the street to cross the road just after 3:30 a.m. local time. None of them saw the car coming from behind them and Goss was the only one hit.
Paramedics took her to St. George’s Hospital in London, where she remains in a medically-induced coma with head trauma. Goss’s father, Warren Goss, said he got the first phone call from Emily’s friend.
“She was hysterical,” Goss said during a phone interview from London on Tuesday. “The next call I got was from police.”
Warren Goss said he and Emily’s mother, Shawna, flew to Emily’s bedside from their home in New Westminster, B.C., and arrived with within 17 hours of the first call. Emily’s brother, Hayden, grandmother Wendy and boyfriend Jamie also made the trip.
Emily suffered no broken bones or organ damage, but doctors just began to lighten her sedation this week, so they can assess the severity of her head injury.
“We’re told just be patient. The sedation because it was so high will take days to come out,” said Warren Goss. “She is unfortunately still not communicating at all. We’ve got a couple of hand squeezes today, which was nice, but not in response to anything. Still, that’s the most we’ve had.”
Goss described his daughter as a traveller and “kind heart” who has plans to study marketing and public relations at BCIT full-time this fall. She met Jamie, her boyfriend of four years, during her time living on a working visa in England. He has been at her bedside, too.
“You’ll see a million pictures of her with a gigantic smile on her face and that’s Emily,” Warren Goss said. “Just the happiest most outgoing person you’re ever going to meet.”
Warren Goss said they’ve received “hundreds and hundreds” of letters, notes and emails from people in New Westminster. They read them out loud to her, her hands in theirs.
“I can’t stress enough how supportive everyone has been,” he said. “It’s the thing that keeps us going every single day. We look at our phones and hope there’s more emails that we can read to her because it’s the highlight of our day.”
In an email to CBC News, Metropolitan Police said the driver failed to stop at the scene of the crash but was arrested a short time later on suspicion of drunk driving. The investigation is ongoing.