2 Indian Students Killed in US Hit and Run Crash on Thanksgiving Night

Washington: Two Indian students were killed in a hit-and-run accident in South Nashville, Tennessee on Thanksgiving night, authorities have said.

Judy Stanley (23), and Vybhav Gopisetty (26), were graduate students of the Tennessee State University (TSU) and were pursuing food science degrees in the College of Agriculture, the university said.

The university students have raised — through a GoFundMe Page — more than $42,000 for their last rites and funeral in India.

According to the local police, Stanley and Gopisetty died in an apparent hit-and-run incident on the night of November 28. Stanley was seeking a master’s, Gopisetty, a doctorate, the university said in a statement.

David Torres (26), the owner of the GMC pickup truck involved the double-fatal crash on Nolensville Pike near Harding Place, surrendered before the police, Metro Nashville Police Department said on Sunday. “Torres would not answer questions. Officers took a DNA sample. Investigation continuing,” the police said.

According to the police, Torres’ vehicle crashed into a Nissan Sentra, in which the two Indian students were travelling. The pickup truck was speeding and ran a red light when it hit the passenger side of the Sentra, witnesses said according to ABC-affiliate News 9.

The car went off the road and through a fence before slamming into a tree on the Walmart property. Stanley and Gopisetty succumbed to injuries and their families have been notified, police said, adding that Torres ran away from the scene.

According to eyewitness Louis Mireles, he was walking to the bus stop when he heard it happen and saw the GMC driver run away from the scene.

“Boom boom like that and I looked backward. It was right there I would’ve been dead right there, but something told me to step back,” local News 4 quoted him as saying. “They’re dead but we are going to make them alive again, so people get their chance in court get him because that guy ran… he didn’t even care about their lives,” Mireles said.

Bharat Pokharel, Associate Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture said the students were “humble, innocent, and hardworking” with a “prosperous future”. “I could not believe what had happened to the lives of these two young energetic scientists, he said in a Facebook Post.

Sharath Julakanti of the food science club at TSU has created the GoFundMe page.

According to the page, Vybhav Vipul Sudhir Gopisetty landed in Nashville with a dream to shine in the field of food science and completed his master’s with excellent scores and four publications in international journals.

“Judy Stanley came from a middle-class financial background; she was a girl with positive attitude and hardworking in nature. She was passionate about helping poor people by participating in various volunteering and fund collecting program but finally a situation arise, where we are now collecting fund for her funeral,” the page says. “We kindly request everyone to support them for their funeral which is to be held at India,” it added.

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