Two Indian students were killed in a hit-and-run accident on Thanksgiving night of November 28 in the US state of Tennessee. Authorities said the owner of the pickup truck involved in the incident has surrendered.
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. According to the local police, Stanley and Gopisetty died in an apparent hit-and-run incident on the night of November 28 in South Nashville. According to reports, Vybhav belongs to Vijayawada city in Andhra Pradesh.
The TSU on Friday released a statement after the two students were killed in the crash. They also identified the female victim, according to newschannel9.com.
"The Tennessee State University family is mourning the loss of two TSU students killed in an auto accident Thanksgiving night. Judy Stanley, 23, and Vybhav Gopisetty, 26, were both graduate students from India pursuing food science degrees in the College of Agriculture. Stanley was seeking a master’s, and Gopisetty a doctorate."
David Torres (26), the owner of the GMC pickup truck involved in the double-fatal crash on Nolensville Pike near Harding Place, surrendered before the police after a lookout notice was issued for him, 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 a Walmart property.
Stanley and Gopisetty succumbed to injuries and their families have been notified, police said, adding that Torres initially 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.
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.
The university students have raised more than USD 42,000 for their last rights and funeral in India.
According to the fundraising 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.
The page also said that Judy Stanley came from a middle-class financial background, who had a positive attitude and was hardworking in nature. She helped people by participating in various volunteering and fund collecting programs, the page said.