NEWS

Maryam Rashidi's husband speaks of loss, heartbreak after her gas-and-dash death

06/10/2015 04:45 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
Ahmad Nourani Shallo is trying to cope with the loss of his wife while struggling financially to provide for his six-year-old son in a city, and country, he's only lived in for a few months.

"When she was with me, I was very lucky, without problem," he said. "But now I think I'm very unlucky.... She was the best thing I had."

Maryam Rashidi, 35, died yesterday in hospital after being run over by a stolen truck on Sunday. The gas station attendant chased the vehicle out of the parking lot after it filled up with $113 of fuel and drove off without paying.

A close family friend has set up a trust account for the family of two who need financial help with things like funeral costs and six-year-old Karoosh's future education.

The child saw his mother for the last time on Tuesday afternoon when he visited her in hospital.

"Right now, I'm worried about my son because he ask me 'Where is mom?'" said Nourani Shallo, "I don't know what should I tell him."

Came to Canada from Iran

The couple met 13 years ago in Tehran after graduating from university and working as colleagues.

Rashidi was a processing engineer while her husband was a piping engineer. The family came to Canada from Iran to work in the oil and gas industry.

He says on top of his love for her, the two were close friends and found themselves colleagues once again at a Calgary company.

They had been in this city for just four months when both were laid off from their engineering positions in March.

Rashidi took the job at Centex so the family could continue to live in their Fonda Park basement apartment and put food on the table. She had been working as a gas station attendant for just three days when she was run over by the stolen truck.

"It's very difficult for him now, he has to be mom and dad," said close family friend Amin Attar. "His responsibility right now is very, very high."

Funeral planned for Maryam Rashidi

To ease his grief and to help both he and his son recover, Nourani Shallo says he will travel back to Iran next week to be with his parents and in-laws. 

"All of them cried," he said of telling his far-away family the news. "At first none of them believed me."

Though he hasn't seen it in person, Nourani Shallo took some comfort when shown photos of a growing memorial at the Centex gas station.

Another friend is helping to plan Rashidi's funeral, which will likely take place this weekend.

People wanting to contribute to the "In Trust for Ahmad and Koroosh" fund can go to any TD Bank. The branch number is 01729 and the account number 6737034.

Two people were taken into custody Tuesday evening. Police have released one of the "persons of interest." The other will likely be charged before a justice of the peace this afternoon.

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