Romanian tourist who died during London attack is buried
Posted May 13
CONSTANTA, Romania — A Romanian tourist thrown into the Thames when an extremist plowed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London was finally buried Saturday in this Black Sea port that was her hometown.
Andreea Cristea, 31, was knocked into the river when Khalid Masood drove his rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge on March 22. She died two weeks later. Her boyfriend, Andrei Burnaz, who had been about to propose, suffered a broken foot.
Masood rushed onto the grounds of Parliament, where he fatally stabbed a policeman before being shot dead by another officer. Police believe that Masood, who had convictions for violent crimes, acted alone.
Cristea was pulled from the Thames and had surgery for a blood clot on the brain. She died on April 6 when life support was withdrawn.
She was the fifth victim of Masood, a 52-year-old former convict who had embraced radical Islam. Dozens more were wounded in his rampage.
About 150 mourners carrying flickering candles gathered at St. Mary's church on Saturday wearing badges with Cristea's photo which said: "Forever in my heart!" Orthodox Archbishop Teodosie of Tomis headed a phalanx of priests who wafted incense during the service.
Teodosie called Cristea "young, beautiful, hard-working and full of love." He also alluded to the forthcoming proposal from Burnaz, an engineer who stood quietly during the service and wept occasionally.
Elder sister Magda Toi said family and friends "don't think they lost Andreea, they will always remember her and she will always be with us." Toi noted that it had started to rain when the coffin left the church for the cemetery, which in Romania is a sign that the deceased person was sorry to die.
British Ambassador Paul Brummell attended the funeral, tweeting "A moving day celebrating the life of Andreea Cristea, tragically cut short by a murderous act of terrorism." Two London police officers were also there.
After her death, her family and Burnaz described Cristea as "our shining ray of light that will forever keep on shining in our hearts," and said they would donate all the money raised on her behalf since the attack to charity.
Also killed in the attack were Utah man Kurt Cochran, 54; Britons Leslie Rhodes, 75, and Aysha Frade, 44; and 48-year-old police officer Keith Palmer.