The death of a Saanich man has left behind a grieving widow, who must now raise a four-year-old son while expecting twins in an unfamiliar country.
Khushal Rana died Saturday night from his injuries, some three days after a vehicle had struck him on Gorge Road while he was walking from his son’s birthday party to his job as a chef at Sizzling Tandoor.
A 25-year-old Saanich woman was travelling east on Gorge Road West when her 2003 Chevrolet Suburban mounted the sidewalk after it had gone off the road. The vehicle struck the 31-year-old Rana, then continued into Gorge Park before coming to rest in the bushes.
Ambulance crews took Rana to Victoria General Hospital, where doctors amputated his leg in an attempt to save his life. Their efforts, however, failed, and Rana died shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday.
“He just left,” said Gurinder Bawa, owner of Sizzling Tandoor and Rana’a employer. Bawa was among a handful of individuals who were with Rana when he died.
Bawa said the death of Khushal has devastated his wife Meena, who has no immediate family in Canada, and speaks little English. “He [Khushal] was the only person she was close to,” said Bawa. “They [family members from India] are very concerned about Meena’s future,” he said.
Meena is due to give birth to twins in December and a fundraising campaign underway since Thursday has been raising money for her, her son and her unborn twins. “We want to make sure her future is secure,” said Bawa, whose daughter Kirn has been leading the fundraising efforts.
As of Monday afternoon, the campaign at GoFundMe had raised more than $81,000 towards the goal of $90,000.
Sizzling Tandoor operates three locations in Victoria, Saanich and Langford, and Rana was receiving training at the Saanich outlet in Uptown shopping centre at the time of the collision.
Rana, who arrived in Canada less than four years ago, had joined Sizzling Tandoor two months ago after coming from the Lower Mainland. Bawa said he will remember Rana as a gentle, kind and soft-spoken person. “In a couple of months, he touched everybody’s hearts,” said Bawa.
Rana’s death will leave behind a large hole, said Bawa. “It’s an impact on us [at Sizzling Tandoor], it’s an impact on everybody.”
Bawa said people from across the community and of every background have been trying to help. “We want to thank you from the bottom of the heart,” he said.
Fundraising efforts at all three Sizzling Tandoor locations continue and the Sikh temple on Ceceilia Road (Gurdwara Singh Sabha) has joined the Sikh temple at Topaz (Khalsa Diwan) in collecting relief funds for the family.
As for the investigation, it continues, but may not yield results any time soon.
Saanich Police Sgt. Jereme Leslie said in a release that these types of investigations can be lengthy. “It can take several months to process all the available evidence before the [investigators] are able to determine the cause of the crash,” he said.
This was the second Sizzling Tandoor staffer to die in the past year after being struck by a vehicle. A bartender working at the restaurant’s Langford location died from his injuries in January after a vehicle had struck him.
“It’s a lot,” Bawa told Black Press in a recent interview. “Our company has been going through that grieving process slowly, and then even if this was fresh it would be tough, but I think it’s even tougher now … it’s the second set of bad news.”