MONTREAL — A Canadian mother of three who was injured when a speeding car plowed into pedestrians in New York City is awake after spending weeks in a coma, her sister said Sunday.
Victoria Avetisian says her sister Elena Avetisian woke up two weeks ago and was transferred from New York City to a hospital in Montreal last week.
"It was a miracle, it was a miracle that she woke up so quickly and also that she started to speak," Victoria Avetisian told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.
"And slowly, slowly, we hope she will recover."
Avetisian, 38, was one of over two dozen people who were injured when a Honda Accord sped through a pedestrian-packed crowd at Times Square on May 18, hitting numerous pedestrians before being stopped by a concrete barrier.
A teenaged tourist was killed in the attack.
Avetisian was doing some sightseeing ahead of a family wedding when she stepped away to buy a stroller for her youngest daughter and never came back, her cousin said in an earlier interview.
Even now that she's awake, she doesn't remember much about the crash, her sister said.
"She remembers she was in New York for her cousin's wedding, she agrees with that," Victoria Avetisian said. "But after that she doesn't remember."
The 26-year-old man believed to the driver, Richard Rojas, was indicted by a grand jury in May. He was previously arrested on charges of murder and attempted murder.
Authorities have said the Bronx man acknowledged being high on drugs when he plowed through the sidewalk.
Victoria Avetisian says her sister faces a long road to recovery after suffering serious head wounds and a crushed pelvis.
She could be in hospital for about a year as she goes through the rehabilitation process, and doctors still can't say whether she'll make a full recovery.
The family, including Avetisian's three daughters, are staying optimistic, her sister said.
"She's a fighter and she's on the road to recovery," Victoria Avetisian said. "It will take a long time but she will recover."
An online crowdfunding campaign for Avetisian has raised over $27,000 to help pay for her care.
Victoria Avetisian says the funds will help pay for the family's transportation as well as the costs associated with her sister's rehabilitation.
She said the family wants to thank everyone who donated, as well as the hospital staff who helped care for her sister in New York City.
-- With a file from The Associated Press