NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — New London police believe they have identified the vehicle and driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run involving a Connecticut College student Friday morning.
Just before 2:15 a.m., New London police responded to a report of a body on the side of the road on Route 32 northbound near the entrance to Connecticut College. Upon arrival, officers found student Anique Ashraf unresponsive on the northbound shoulder.
Police determined that the 20 year old junior had been struck by a vehicle that left the scene.
“I talked to him that night,” says his friend Dylan Pinckert.
According to New London police, Ashraf was transported to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:34 a.m. as a result of his injuries.
“He was a great kid. He was really outgoing and I loved him,” says Pinckert.
Police have made a lot of progress in the case. Thanks to an observant police officer who was on his way home from the midnight shift and spotted a 2015-2016 Chrysler 200 in a Waterford neighborhood.
The car which is a rental matched the evidence police collected at the scene. Police have applied for a warrant to search the car.
“We’ve been in contact with the person who was operating the vehicle they are cooperative with the police right now,” says Deputy Chief Peter Reichard.
A break in a case which has broken many hearts.
“He was witty and charming and passionate and involved in a lot of things on campus and it’s going to be a big loss for this community,” says Deborah MacDonnell a spokesperson for Connecticut college.
She says Ashraf wrote for the school’s student experience blog. “He had some good stories to tell,” says McDonnell.
He was also a leader in the LGBTQ community on campus.
Ashraf was from Pakistan. Police say they don’t have any evidence of a hate crime.
“Not that we’ve discovered at this time… we’re looking into that also because we are aware of what’s going on,” says Deputy Chief Reichard.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident, or have any information that could help in the investigation to give them a call at 860-447-5269.
Just before 12 noon on Friday, Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron issued the following statement:
It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that Anique Ashraf, from the Class of 2017, died early this morning after being struck by a vehicle on Mohegan Avenue. We were waiting to notify the family before we could send this message. This is a devastating loss to his family, his many friends, and to the entire Connecticut College community.
Anique was a brilliant student from Lahore, Pakistan who brought enormous vitality to all aspects of his life and work here at the College. A scholar in our Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, and a double major in art and international relations, Anique was a leader in the LGBTQ community on campus. He was a gifted writer with a compelling voice, who captured many colorful and poignant aspects of life at Connecticut College in his pieces for the blog “The Experience.” He also helped many students in his work as a tutor in the Roth Writing Center. An artist who worked in several different media, Anique spent this past summer as an intern at the Leslie Lohman Gallery of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. He was a person with deeply held convictions who lived life to its fullest. We mourn the loss of this gifted young life, and send our deepest condolences to Anique’s family and to his many close friends in our community.
The staff members in the Office of Student Life are available for any students who need support. Our counselors and our chaplains are also available today to speak with others on campus. Special support will be available in Knowlton for those students who shared a residence house with Anique, in Abby House Common Room for residents of Abby, and in the Cro’s Nest for other close friends of Anique. Residence Life will operate out of Cro 215 today to be more accessible to students. I encourage anyone who needs help to speak to the Office of Counseling Services, a chaplain, a class dean, or anyone in Student Life. I also remind staff and faculty that counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program.
Harkness Chapel will be open all day for private prayer and reflection. And the College will have an opportunity to come together today at 5:30 p.m. in the 1962 Room.
I know this is especially difficult news to receive at this time of the semester. Students who feel the need to postpone scheduled exams should contact the Office of the Dean of the College – at 860-439-2050 or 860-439-2053 or firstname.lastname@example.org – and work with their class deans to make alternative arrangements.
Anique was a student of great talent, commitment, and compassion. After the break, we will begin working on an appropriate service to mark his life on campus.