An Indian American dental student at Adelphi University in New York was killed Nov. 10 evening, as a driver who hit her car, mowed her down as she got out to examine the damage, and then sped off.
According to Nassau County, New York Police Department reports, Taranjit Parmar, 18, was traveling eastbound in her 2018 Jeep around 5 p.m. Nov. 10 on the Hempstead Turnpike, a few miles from her Levittown, New York, home. She was struck by the driver of a red pickup truck, who was traveling northbound on the turnpike, but attempting to turn eastbound.
After the minor collision, Parmar got out of her car to assess the damage, and exchange information with the other driver. As she was surveying her car and phoning her mother to let her know what had happened, the driver – identified as male by police – revved off in his car, striking Parmar and mowing her down as he fled the scene.
The young student was transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Parmar sustained trauma to her head and chest.
The driver of the red pickup truck is still at large. The truck’s license plate is not visible on surveillance video footage, according to police. The investigation is ongoing, and witnesses – or those with knowledge of the suspect – are urged to call the Nassau County Police Department at 1-800-244-TIPS. Noting that the turnpike would have a large volume of traffic at that time, detectives are relying on eyewitness reports from the community.
A woman who picked up the phone at the Parmars’ family home in Levittown told India-West that a funeral service had been conducted that afternoon – Nov. 13 – and several family members and friends were gathered there to mourn the young victim.
Ranjit Parmar told PIX 11 television station that he was blessed to have a daughter like Taranjit.
"She bore all the responsibility to carry the family, carry her education. I always told everybody who would listen to me, if you’re going to have a daughter, this is the one," he said while fighting back tears.
Ranjit Parmar has urged the driver to come forward. “Please, turn yourself in, call the police,” he told CBS News New York. “At that moment, maybe you lost your mind because you got scared. But what about the next day? Why aren’t you coming in and taking responsibility?”
Meanwhile, a friend of Parmar’s, Sara Pedroza, has started a gofundme page to help the family with funeral expenses. As of Nov. 13, 253 people had contributed more than $11,000 towards a $20,000 goal.
“Taranjit was such a hard-working, lovely person that was always smiling,” wrote Pedroza.
“Taranjit was close with her family and talked about her two younger sisters all of the time. Whether I was with her in a Science Olympiad event or in class or winning or losing in a Badminton tournament, Taranjit was always smiling and trying her best. She was absolutely wonderful and beautiful,” wrote Pedroza.
“This senseless tragedy is heartbreaking. Taranjit was as lovely as a person could be, with a pure, good heart and always, always, a smile on her face,” wrote Joan Galante on the gofundme page.
Tributes to the young woman also poured in on social media. Harneet Gulati, who attended Adelphi with Parmar, posted: “You were so smart, humble, and so young with a whole life ahead of you. You didn’t deserve this.”
“I honestly wish I could’ve been as focused as you were in your journey to achieving your dreams. Now I can’t believe what has happened,” wrote Gulati.
Parmar would have turned 19 later this month.