20-year-old college student from Austin killed in hit-and-run in Georgia

Ariana Zarse, a social events director of Pi Beta Phi at UGA, had recently raised $20,000 for charity

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ATHENS, Ga. – Police announced Monday that they have identified a driver they believe hit and killed a University of Georgia student and then fled the scene.

Ariana Zarse, 20, was walking in downtown Athens with a friend when a man driving a gray Honda Accord hit her shortly after 12 a.m. Saturday, police said. She died from her injuries at a nearby hospital. The friend was not injured.

Police are trying to find 29-year-old Donterris Gresham of Athens, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. They've obtained warrants charging him with first-degree vehicular homicide, hit and run involving death, failure to obey a traffic device, traveling too fast for conditions and driving while unlicensed.

An officer heading to the scene was flagged down by witnesses who reported a car that sounded like it was scraping the ground, Barnett told the newspaper. The officer found the Honda abandoned.

Zarse, from Austin, Texas, was a junior majoring in marketing. She was director of social events for her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, according to the sorority's website. She had recently participated in a charity boxing event in which fraternities and sororities participated.

The event raised $20,000 for the American Red Cross and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, according to WXIA.

“She trained for two months. Fought that fight and won her fight. She said it was one of the greatest experiences she has ever had,” said Keith Keppner of Keppner Boxing & Fitness of Athens.

He called Zarse a “great young lady” who was active in community organizations.

Athens-Clarke County police are asking anyone with information about the crash to get in touch with them.

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