The Romanian tourist who fell from Westminster Bridge into the River Thames during a terror attack on 22 March has died, according to police. Andreea Cristea, 29, becomes the fifth victim to die as a result of the incident.
The architect was visiting London with her boyfriend Andrei Burnaz when they were mown down by Khalid Masood in a Hyundai 4x4 along with scores of others on Westminster Bridge.
It remains unclear whether Cristea was knocked into the river or jumped as a means of escape. Burnaz escaped with a broken foot.
The Metropolitan Police said that formal identification has not yet taken place. However, it released the following statement from Cristea's family:
"After fighting for her life for over two weeks, our beloved and irreplaceable Andreea - wonderful daughter, sister, partner, dedicated friend and the most unique and life loving person you can imagine – was cruelly and brutally ripped away from our lives in the most heartless and spiritless way.
"She will always be remembered as our shining ray of light that will forever keep on shining in our hearts."
Cristea's plight became a focus of media attention in the aftermath of the incident as reports of a blood-soaked woman being dragged out of the Thames circulated.
Long-range CCTV footage showed Cristea plummeting from the middle of the bridge into the river as Masood's car sped across the pavement towards the Houses of Parliament.
She becomes the fifth victim to die as a result of the rampaging attack in the heart of London. The four other people, excluding Masood, who died as a result of the attack were:
- PC Keith Palmer — an unarmed policeman stabbed by Masood outside the Houses of Parliament
- Aysha Frade — a mother-of-two who worked at a Westminster college
- Kurt Cochran — an American from Utah in London on his 25th wedding anniversary
- Leslie Rhodes — a 75-year-old man from Streatham, south London
After stabbing PC Palmer, Masood was gunned down by defence minister Michael Fallon's personal bodyguard.
Her family said: "Andreea is now unfortunately not able to have part of the money that was raised for her recovery, so we would like to donate it to charity. She would not have it any other way.
"There are no words to even begin to describe the crushing pain and emptiness that is left in our hearts.
"Our family, together with Andrei, are deeply touched and eternally grateful for the unimaginable efforts and never-ending dedication provided to her and us by the entire medical personnel of each and every hospital involved. Their kindness and empathy are beyond compare.
"We would not have been able to live through these trying and tragically hurtful weeks without the support of the Metropolitan Police, the UK Government and every department involved.
"Our hearts and love go out to our two family liaison officers, Detective Sergeants Tony De-Wilde and Geraint Jones, who stood beside us every single step of the way. You were our lifeline and we will never be able to thank you enough."
Updates to follow - breaking news story