POLITICS

Funeral in Calgary for woman killed trying to stop driver who didn't pay for gas

06/12/2015 08:34 EDT | Updated 06/12/2016 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - The husband of a Calgary woman killed while trying to stop a driver who didn't pay for gas thanked mourners for coming to her funeral, adding they are his family now.

Maryam Rashidi, who was 36, had been on the job for three days at Centex gas station when she was hit and run over by a stolen pickup truck whose driver tried to flee after not paying for $113 worth of gas.

Family and friends gathered Friday to remember Rashidi, who was born in Iran and attended university, earning a bachelor of chemical engineering degree.

She met her husband, Ahmed Mourani Shallo, while working in the oil and gas industry and the two were married in 2005 and their son was born in 2009.

The couple immigrated to Canada in 2014 and settled in Calgary in January.

Shallo said in Farsi — which was translated by a friend — that the couple overcame many obstacles to come to Canada and had many dreams about what they could achieve here.

"With the experience and expertise we brought to Canada, we were certain that we would achieve our dreams one after another. We shared a home full of motherly love, a father’s determination and a healthy son.

"We both believed that we must strive to keep our cultural values while looking for the new ways to succeed in the new society. Unfortunately this terrible accident cast a shadow on our happiness."

Rashidi and Shallo both found jobs at a local oil and gas company but were laid off in March. She took a job as a gas station attendant to support her family.

"We are prepared to make all effort it takes to overcome the sadness of this loss. To help my son have the best life and education, Maryam and I had ever dreamed for him. I am sure that I will not alone be achieving this as I have all of you as my family. Thank you very much for being here for us," Ahmed said.

The family donated Rashidi's organs, said Fariborz Birjandian of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society.

"It has been a very, very stressful, sad and painful week, for the family, obviously, for Ahmed, Koroosh, their son, the family back in Iran and the entire Calgary community...,” Birjandian said.

“We’re sad and angry that such a beautiful life has been taken away for such a cruel act by some young people.”

Another memorial is planned for Saturday.

A trust fund has been set up to help the family and anyone wishing to contribute can do so at any TD Canada Trust branch.

Joshua Cody Mitchell, 20, faces charges that include criminal negligence causing death, hit and run causing death, dangerous driving causing death and possession of stolen property.

(CTV Calgary)