Connecticut College student killed in hit-and-run accident

Anique Ashraf, a Connecticut College student, was killed early Friday morning in a hit-and-run accident on Route 32 near the college's entrance. (Photo provided by Connecticut College)
Anique Ashraf, a Connecticut College student, was killed early Friday morning in a hit-and-run accident on Route 32 near the college's entrance. (Photo provided by Connecticut College)

New London — Police said they have identified a man they believe was the operator of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident early Friday morning that claimed the life of a Connecticut College student. 

Police did not identify the suspected driver on Friday, citing the ongoing investigation.

Anique Ashraf, 20, was killed in an early morning accident on the northbound side of Route 32, near the entrance of the school. Police said his body was discovered by a passerby who contacted police.

In a letter to students and faculty, college President Katherine Bergeron called Ashraf, from the Class of 2017, "a student of great talent, commitment and compassion."

"This is a devastating loss to his family, his many friends and to the entire Connecticut College community," she wrote.

Bergeron said Ashraf was from Lahore, Pakistan, and was a scholar in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts and a double major in art and international relations.

She said he was a leader in the LGBTQ community on campus and a gifted writer "who captured many colorful and poignant aspects of life at Connecticut College" in his work for the blog "The Experience."

Police said at about 2:12 a.m. they received a 911 call reporting that a body was on the side of the road near the college.

When police arrived at the scene, they found an unresponsive male. Police said Ashraf was struck by a car that had left the scene. They do not know how long Ashraf was on the ground before a passing motorist discovered him.

Ashraf was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:34 a.m.

Police recovered physical evidence from the scene of the accident and with that evidence were able to identify the vehicle as a 2015/2016 Chrysler-type vehicle, according to New London Deputy Police Chief Peter Reichard.

An off-duty New London police officer located the vehicle in Waterford. The vehicle was towed and impounded as evidence.

No arrests connected to Ashraf's death were made on Friday.

Bergeron said Ashraf was a tutor in the Roth Writing Center. He 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," said Bergeron. "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." 

Friday was the first day of finals at the schools. Students struggling with grief were encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of the College to postpone exams. Exams end Tuesday, marking the start of the holiday break.

Counseling services also are being offered to students. Harkness Chapel was open all day Friday for private prayer and reflection. A gathering for the campus community was also held on Friday.

A formal service will take place when students return from break.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident or has information is asked to call New London police at (860) 447-5269.

Day staff writer Greg Smith contributed to this report.

i.larraneta@theday.com

Twitter: @larraneta

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