Family mourns Sri Lankan immigrants killed in QEW crash

A family is mourning a Sri Lankan immigrant and his daughter, who were killed in a head-on crash on the QEW last weekend.

Early Sunday morning, a teen was driving the wrong way on the ramp from the QEW to the northbound Highway 427 when his SUV collided head-on with the victims’ minivan.

Jayantha Neil Wijeratne, 49, and his 16-year-old daughter Eleesha Nimani were killed on impact. Wijeratne’s wife Antonette, who celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday, underwent surgery and remains in critical condition at Sunnybrook hospital.

The family had been on its way home after a week-long holiday in Florida with other relatives. They had dropped off Wijeratne’s brother, Rohana, and his wife and were headed back to their North York home.

“This is my youngest brother,” Rohana told Citynews. “I lost him.”

The Wijeratnes came to Canada from Sri Lanka 12 years ago to escape civil war and also have a 19-year-old son, Brian.

“They came here looking for a better life for their kids just like any immigrant — and to lose their daughter that way,” said Wijeratne’s nephew Lakshan.

“She was gifted in so many ways.”

After the crash, police arrested the 19-year-old driver and say impaired driving charges are pending. He is in St. Michael’s Hospital with serious injuries, but is expected to survive.

“Our family forgives you for what you did,” Lakshan said in a message to the driver. “But just know that it was wrong and that your careless actions caused this to our family. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened.” (City Tv)