A college graduate student was reportedly struck and killed by a speeding Seattle police car responding to a “high-priority” call near the college where she studied.
Jaahnavi Kandula, 23 — the daughter of a single-mom school teacher in India — was in a crosswalk near Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street around 8 p.m. Monday when she was mowed down by the squad car, KIRO-TV reported.
Kandula, who was working on a master’s degree at Northeastern University’s Seattle campus, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The police officer behind the wheel, who was not identified, remains on the job.
In a statement to KJR-FM radio, the young woman’s family said it was “heartbroken.”
“Jaahnavi’s tragic and untimely death has left her family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired,” the statement said. “She was a daughter to a single mother who teaches elementary school in India.”
“In spite of earning less than [$200] per month, her mother educated Jaahnavi and encouraged her to [travel to] the United States hoping Jaahnavi would have a better future and a better life abroad,” it said. “Her mother’s hopes and dreams are cut short now.”
In its own statement following the incident, the Seattle Police Department expressed its “deepest condolences to Kandula’s family, and called it “a terrible tragedy for everyone involved.”
But the department did not release details of the fatal mishap pending an investigation.
Northeastern Dean David Thurman called Kandula a “stellar student and a delightful and effervescent human being,” KJR-FM reported..
According to the reports, the cop was speeding to the 700 block of 6th Avenue North with firefighters when Kandula was fatally struck, KIRO reported.
“I feel bad for the officer,” one eyewitness told the station. “I can’t imagine how he feels. And I saw the emotion from him, and he seemed pretty bent out of shape about it.”
Kandula is from Andhra Pradesh in India, according to a gofundme.com page set up to help support her grieving mother.
The page had raised nearly $154,000 as of Sunday afternoon.
Boston-based Northeastern University has a variety of campuses across the globe and the US, including the Washington state site in Seattle.