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Driver Runs Over Levittown Student, Speeds Off Following Fender Bender

LEVITTOWN, N.Y.(CBSNewYork) -- A minor fender bender turned into a fatal hit-and-run and police need your help.

An 18-year-old college honors student stepped out of her car in a parking lot to exchange papers with the man who collided with her.

Instead, he ran over her and fled.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported, honors dental student Taranjit Parmar dreamed of opening a practice in her hometown. Instead, she was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver just blocks from her Levittown home.

Her parents and two younger sisters are inconsolable.

"Nothing anyone can do. She was four days away from her 19th birthday," a family spokesman said.

A graduate of Division High School and now part of Adelphi University Honors College -- classmates described Parmar as 'kind, lovely, and brilliant.'

She was driving along Hempstead Turnpike at 5 p.m. Thursday, approaching a traffic light near Gardiner's Avenue when a red pickup truck pulled out and collided with Parmar's Jeep.

Part of the accident was caught on gas station surveillance.

"They just back up and go on to the next parking lot. They try to exchange information and the red truck guy ran over the girl," a witness said.

Gas station patrons ran towards the victim and within minutes ambulances and first responders were in a frantic effort to save her life.

A police source confirmed she called her mother after the minor crash.

As she stepped out of her vehicle hoping to exchange insurance papers. Instead the driver accelerated.

Her mother heard what would be her daughter's final words for help.

"Our community is distraught by this accident. There are no words to say how this feels, studying in a college just like us, like a sister," a student said.

Classmates at Adelphi were just learning about the tragedy.

"It's a crazy event. This should not have happened, hope this man comes out and turns himself in," Kailey Broderick said.

Police need help. They have little to go by and are looking for a red pickup truck with a middle-aged white male driver wearing a baseball cap. Parmar was next slated to study four years at NYU's college of dentistry.

"This was 5 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon, Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown. People witnessed something. An 18-year-old girl lost her life because of a fender bender," Detective Vincent Garcia said.

Nassau cops are urging any witnesses to call in with tips. Adelphi University's counseling center is open tonight for students.


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