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The Indiana Daily Student

student life

UPDATED: IU law student dies after being struck by car Saturday


This story has been updated 6:43 p.m. Feb. 11

Purva Sethi, a third-year graduate student at the Maurer School of Law, was struck and killed by a vehicle Saturday night just a few blocks off campus, according to an email Dean Austen Parrish sent IU's law students. 

The crash happened near the intersection of East Third and South Washington streets. 

Bloomington Police Department Det. Sgt. Dana Cole said the man was driving south on Washington St. when he stopped at a traffic light. He attempted to make a right turn on a red light.

The man said he felt a bump and thought he drove over an object. He pulled over and called the police when he saw the woman laying in the street.

25-year-old Sethi was struck by a 59-year-old man driving a 2019 black Ford Expedition.The man’s name has not been released by police.

Video from a nearby apartment complex captured the accident. It shows Sethi had approximately three seconds left on the crosswalk sign when she began to walk across. Sethi had the right of way as a pedestrian.

The man was issued a citation Tuesday for violating Indiana Code requiring drivers to exercise care to not hit pedestrians, according to an email from BPD Capt. Ryan Pedigo. The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office decide whether the man committed a crime.

The driver completed a preliminary breath test and had blood taken to be sent to toxicology. Cole said officers did not detect any alcohol to be present and initially said the man had no impairments.

The toxicology report will show if the driver had any impairments not seen in initial tests. This will decide if there are any charges against him.

Parrish said Sethi’s parents were notified and are flying to Bloomington.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family, her fiancé, and her loved ones,” he wrote.

Sethi was a participant in the Maurer School’s joint degree program with Jindal University in Sonipat, Haryana, India, according to an email from IU spokesperson Chuck Carney.

“All of us at IU extend our deepest sympathies,” Carney said in an email. “We’re working to help the family through this at this time.”

Parrish said the law school intends to have a memorial if Sethi’s parents will allow it, but one has not been scheduled yet. There will be counselors available throughout the day Monday for faculty, staff and students in the law school.

“For now our hearts go out to Purva’s family during this time of loss and grief,” Parrish said.

This story has been updated to include that the driver who hit Sethi was issued a citation Tuesday and that the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether he committed a crime.

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