Bright light with a big heart: First victim identified in Toronto van attack

By News Staff

One of the victims killed in Monday afternoon’s van attack in Toronto has been identified as Anne Marie D’Amico.

D’Amico, along with nine other people, was killed after a van jumped the curb and plowed through pedestrians on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard avenues.

“Anne Marie had a generous heart and always did big things for people. She wouldn’t stop until she went the extra mile for others and that was manifested in her loving attention to detail,” the family said in a statement.

“She genuinely wanted to care for all those around her even if it meant sacrificing a portion of herself in return for others happiness. She only had kindness in her.

“Her name has been broadcasted around the world attached to this terrible tragedy. But we want everyone to know that she embodied the definition of altruism. It comforts us knowing that the world has a chance to know her and we hope that in this time, people fight with the same altruism rather then anger and hatred. We ask that at this time your respect our family’s privacy as we come to terms with this tragic news.”

D’Amico was an employee at Invesco, a U.S.-based investment management firm with offices at Yonge and Park Home Avenue.

The company told 680 NEWS business editor Richard Southern that they would have counsellors onsite to help employees deal with the tragedy.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by this tragic event. To help our employees deal with this tragedy, we have arranged to have counsellors onsite,” the statement read.

She had also worked with Tennis Canada and the Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne Marie’s family and with all those impacted by this tragic event,” Gavin Ziv, vice president of professional events at Tennis Canada, said in a statement.

“Anne Marie lived for working at Rogers Cup and seeing her fellow volunteers each summer. The tournament was such a large part of her life and we were so lucky to have her on our team each summer. Her passion for Rogers Cup was contagious and we are honoured to let the world know what an amazing person she was and the great things she did for others.”

According to Tennis Canada, D’Amico’s grandmother, mother, father and brother were all volunteers with Rogers Cup and “the D’Amico family have provided a combined 84 years of incredible service for the event.” Tennis Canada also plans to honour her memory and service to the Rogers Cup at this summer’s event.

CityNews sports reporter Danielle Michaud said she knew D’Amico from Tennis Canada. She took to Twitter, saying “My @TennisCanada family lost one of its brightest lights & biggest hearts in Anne Marie D’Amico. I’m devastated for her family … a big, loving, tight-knit group. No words for this tragedy.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victims and their families, raising more than $20,000 by Tuesday morning.

The city and Toronto police have set up hotlines to offer support to those affected by the incident, and for witnesses who may be able to help with the investigation.

The driver, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, was apprehended by a single officer shortly after at Yonge and Sheppard. He has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

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