Image: Flowers are left near the spot where a driver hit two USC freshmen
Damian Dovarganes  /  AP
Flowers are left on a crosswalk between University Village and the University of Southern California campus, near the spot where a driver hit two USC freshmen, killing one and seriously injuring another early Sunday.
updated 3/31/2009 7:04:28 AM ET 2009-03-31T11:04:28

A driver hit two University of Southern California freshmen — killing one — and drove off with the other caught on the hood until stopping to let a passenger out to throw the injured student to the ground, police said Monday.

Adrianna Bachan, 19, of Santa Barbara was killed and Marcus Garfinkle, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was seriously injured 3 a.m. Sunday when the motorist ran a red light and struck them just north of the campus.

Garfinkle was pulled off the car and the passenger got back in and it drove away. It was unclear how long Garfinkle was on the hood or how fast the car was going.

"He was heartless, lacked courage, had no regard for human life. This individual should certainly be behind bars," police Detective Jimmy Render said Monday at a news conference.

No arrests had been made Monday.

Garfinkle was in serious but stable condition Monday, officials said. His injuries were not specified.

Police said there were four or five witnesses to the hit-and-run, which occurred as the students were returning to campus after attending fraternity parties in the neighborhood.

Two candles and bunches of flowers marked the spot as students streamed by to classes.

Mother pleads for help
Bachan's mother stood near the crosswalk Monday screaming at passers-by for help in solving the crime. "Please if you saw my daughter being killed, please help me," Carmen Bachan shouted.

She said her daughter graduated last year from Santa Barbara High School, where she was a 4.0 honor student.

"I begged her not to come here because it's a very dangerous university, I told my baby not to come here," the anguished mother said.

John Thomas, assistant chief of the USC Department of Public Safety, said crime has declined in recent years around the university, which is southwest of downtown near Exposition Park and Memorial Coliseum.

"These incidents give the perception this is a bad and violent place to live, but it's gotten much better," he said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments