GoFundMe efforts for a Sizzling Tandoor chef who lost his life after being struck by an SUV on Gorge Road last week has topped $119,000.
Khushal Singh Rana passed away from his injuries on Oct. 21 at Victoria General Hospital, just a few days after an emergency surgery amputated his leg.
The 25-year-old Saanich woman driving the vehicle that struck Rana was travelling east on Gorge Road when her 2003 Chevrolet Suburban mounted the sidewalk. The vehicle struck the 31-year-old father, then continued into Gorge Park before finally coming to a stop in the bushes.
Rana leaves behind his wife, Mena, and their 4-year-old son. Mena is also expecting twins in December.
READ MORE: Victim of crash fighting for his life
Langford Sizzling Tandoor Manager Kirn Bawa started the GoFundMe campaign shortly after the accident to help raise funds for the family, before Rana passed away. The original goal was $5,000 but the fund kept growing, stoked by generosity from the community.
As of Monday morning, the online fundraiser sat at $119,412 with more funds still being donated.
“It’s obviously been a really sad and emotional week for all of us. Just in speaking to the team about the GoFundMe, because there are times when we don’t check it, we’ve been so busy with work and busy tending to people who are coming into the restaurant to give their donations and people will let us know that they checked the GoFundMe and they will tell us what it is at,” said Bawa earlier today from the restaurant.
“We’re blown away by ourselves to hear that and it’s like every time we check the GoFundMe, by the hour it is just spiking up and it doesn’t seem like it is slowing down. That’s a really phenomenal feeling just to see that people are so supportive and it doesn’t really matter to them that we’ve surpassed our goal, they’re still wanting to help from the bottom of their hearts.”
When they originally created the online campaign, Bawa said they were expecting a few donations but weren’t sure they would raise the original amount.
“We started at $5,000 and even thinking then ‘we’re kind of really pushing our limits on this one’. I sent out an email to 50 people hoping that even just 10, 20 people would donate,” she said. “I think it was within three hours, we hit that goal.”
Rana’s wife understandably is grieving. Bawa said when the time is right, they will ensure Mena knows of the support she’s received as she doesn’t fully understand.
“I think right now, not entirely,” Bawa said. “She has a language barrier so that has been one of the things we’ve had a hard time communicating. She also comes from a completely different culture and society so I think this is very unusual for her. Within a week or so, I think it will hit her more.”
Bawa said they have yet to tally the amount received in the three restaurant locations across Victoria but estimates are they’re between $5,000 and $10,000 but it could be more.
“Last time I checked the news, the Sikh Temple had also raised $10,000,” she said. “People are still donating quite a bit to the Sikh Temple.”