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UFV riot victim gets helping hand

A bright spot in what has internationally been regarded as a dark day for Vancouver has shone through at UFV, where many have been rallying around student Crystal Ratvyk in a bid to replace her car that was destroyed during the recent post-hockey riots.

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By Karen Aney (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: July 8, 2011

A bright spot in what has internationally been regarded as a dark day for Vancouver has shone through at UFV, where many have been rallying around student Crystal Ratvyk in a bid to replace her car that was destroyed during the recent post-hockey riots.

Ratvyk is a business student at UFV. She was a third year student in 2005, when she was a passenger in a car accident that left her with debilitating migraines: a permanent disability. She dropped out of school, and though she’s held a few different jobs in the meantime, working is difficult with her condition. She recently decided to come back to UFV to finish her degree and eventually earn her CGA, in order to secure a career that she can organize around her migraines.

The last day of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals, professor Raymond Yu offered Ratvyk a ride to Coquitlam, where Ratvyk’s aunt transferred ownership of a 1990 Chevy Cavalier to her. She then headed downtown to watch the game with friend and UFV alum Michael Didyk. When she returned to her car at 11 that night – after the worst of the rioting had died down – she found her car flipped upside down and resting on top of another. The car – meant to help her get to school and to visit her grandfather who passed away days later – was wrecked, and Ratvyk’s disability meant that she had no means to replace it herself.

The media has misreported details about ICBC consistently since the riot. This partially falls back to ICBC themselves, who made a statement that all vehicular damage in the riot was going to be covered. This, Ratvyk says, was not true; as she did not have comprehensive insurance on her vehicle, the damage was not covered. Additionally, she stated that she could not recall ICBC ever telling her this when she signed the insurance just hours before.

There have been some misconceptions about ICBC refusing to cover damage. According to one ICBC representative, the only time cars damaged in a riot would not be covered would be if the owner had knowingly brought their car into a rioting area. Since Ratvyk’s car was there before the game, if she had comprehensive, she would have had full coverage.

Upon hearing of her situation, there were many who were quick to pitch in and help Ratvyk. First was her friend, Didyk; he started a Facebook group to help identify the vandals who flipped her car and dealt with all media inquiries for Ratvyk after the loss of her grandfather. Next were the complete strangers who reached out to help in any way they could; among them was DJ Ramadan, who donated all proceeds from her recent show at the Cellar to Ratvyk’s cause.

UFV staff have pitched in as well; Yu, the professor who offered Ratvyk a rise to get her car, has been accommodating of her in the final weeks of classes. Additionally, academic advisor Linda Toews helped spread the word around campus, and financial advisor Sandy Bishop posted in the Facebook group about what a great and deserving individual she felt Ratvyk was. Two strangers also reportedly offered cars to Ratvyk – one free of charge, and one in exchange for whatever money could be raised. The one condition? That this time, she got comprehensive insurance.

The Facebook group that started it all, for further information.

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