North Philadelphia

Temple Student Struck and Killed by Wrong-way Driver Who Sped Off

Ajay Agnihotri, a student studying political science and economics at Temple University, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as he crossed a North Philadelphia intersection Monday night

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What to Know

  • Temple University student Ajay Agnihotri was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as he crossed a North Philadelphia intersection Monday night.
  • The driver sped off, then ditched his or her car a couple of blocks away.
  • Agnihotri was a fourth year student studying political science and economics, Temple said.

A driver traveling the wrong way down a North Philadelphia street struck a Temple University student crossing the street, throwing him 150 feet down the road, then sped away, leaving the student dead in the street.

Police said the 27-year-old student, later identified by Temple as Ajay Agnihotri, was crossing North 8th Street at Cecil B. Moore Avenue around 8:50 p.m. Monday when he was struck and killed by the driver of a gray Hyundai speeding the wrong way down 8th.

"The 27-year-old male was hit with such force that he was knocked out of both of his sneakers," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Agnihotri landed about 150 feet away, Small said.

Medics pronounced Agnihotri dead on the scene, police said.

Agnihotri was a fourth-year student from Reinholds in Lancaster County who was double majoring in political science and economics, the university said. He didn't live on campus and had an address about a half mile south from the crash scene, police said.

Responding police officers later found the a vehicle matching the description of the striking vehicle about two blocks away at North 8th and Berks streets, but the driver was gone. The car has visible front-end damage and investigators found pieces of the car at the crash scene, Small said.

Surveillance video shared with NBC10 by a witness shows the man crossing 8th Street. A speeding car then flashes into the scene. Within a minute, a Philadelphia police vehicle pulls up and finds the victim.

Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Overwise urged the driver who ditched the car to turn him or herself in since they do believe they will track the driver down once they serve a search warrant on the wrecked car. They already know who the car is registered to and that the car wasn't stolen.

"I would encourage the driver to examine their conscious and do the right thing and give us a call and tell us their side of the story," Overwise said.

There also appeared to be a passenger in the striking car. Police asked that person to come in for questioning.

Police asked anyone with information to contact them at 215-685-3180.

Temple is offering counseling services and information is available online or by calling 215-204-7276.

"On behalf of everyone at Temple, we want to extend our deepest condolences to Ajay’s family, friends, classmates and all others who knew him personally" Temple President Richard M. Englert and Dean of Students Stephanie Ives said in a joint statement. "The death of any member of our community is heartbreaking and takes a significant emotional toll on us all."

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