"Jaahnavi's tragic and untimely death has left her family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired", said her family in a statement.
A 23-year-old Northeastern University graduate student died after being struck by a police car while crossing a street in Seattle last week. Her friends and family are mourning her loss. Jaahnavi Kandula was in a crosswalk in the city's South Lake Union neighborhood on January 23 when she was struck, reported PEOPLE.
Jaahnavi Kandula was struck and killed by a reckless SPD officer’s patrol car while crossing a street. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell defunded pedestrian safety development for that very intersection while pouring money into this murderous police department. pic.twitter.com/w20KCVkBlM— Pipsqueak Seattle (@Pipsqueak206) January 29, 2023
She was hit by the marked SUV, which was on its way to a "priority one call," according to the Seattle Police Department. Authorities received the information and immediately arrived at the scene just after 8 p.m. and performed CPR on Kandula before she was taken to the hospital in critical condition, per the statement. In a further update, the department confirmed that she had died. "We want to acknowledge the many questions we are receiving regarding the collision Monday night between an SPD officer and a pedestrian," the Seattle Police Department said in a statement on January 26.
🧵 Just now I visited the Dexter intersection where Jaahnavi Kandula was killed. I live without a car in this neighborhood and I walk these streets daily. I try to be a careful pedestrian but I still experience close calls, particularly at night. I want our streets to be safer. pic.twitter.com/GlZde8yx1T— Greg Spotts (@Spottnik) January 29, 2023
They added, "As is the case with any serious motor vehicle collision, this incident is under investigation by SPD's Traffic Collision Investigation Squad, consistent with SPD policy." The officer who was driving the car has not been identified as of now, but the police said he has been with the department since November 2019. "We extend our deepest condolences to Ms. Kandula's family and friends," police wrote in the statement. "This incident is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved." Kandula was pursuing information systems at the school's satellite campus, according to The Boston Globe.
NBC affiliate KING-TV reported her family's statement, "We are truly heartbroken. Jaahnavi was a brilliant student with a bright future. Jaahnavi's smile was radiant, and her bubbly personality warmed the hearts of every person she came in contact with. She had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Jaahnavi's tragic and untimely death has left her family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired." They added, "She was a daughter to a single mother who teaches elementary school in India. In spite of earning less than 200 USD per month, her mother educated Jaahnavi and encouraged her to the United States hoping Jaahnavi would have a better future and a better life abroad. Her mother's hopes and dreams are cut short now."
Seattle's Critical Mass honors 23-year old Jaahnavi Kandula with a moment of silence and vigil @ Dexter and Thomas street. pic.twitter.com/FiOmlOHIYg— Seattle CPC (@SeaCPC) January 28, 2023
A GoFundMe account has raised more than $150,000 for the family. Its organizers wrote, "Jaahnavi's sudden death has left a void which can't be replaced but we could at least help the grieving family by contributing anything possible to support their family during these hard times. Jaahnavi cared deeply for her mom. So much so, that in spite of severe homesickness, she came to the States to pursue her dreams and to create a better future for her mom and sister." They added, "While Jaahnavi may not be here with us anymore, her dream will live on. Your generous donation will help realize that dream."
1/ On Monday night, we lost community member Jaahnavi Kandula to the violence inherent from infrastructure built for cars instead of people. My heartfelt condolences and love go out to her and her family.https://t.co/omxvlJyauq— Andrew J. Lewis (@LewisforSeattle) January 26, 2023
Her University also released a statement, "Jaahnavi is remembered as a stellar student and a delightful and effervescent human being. She was a close friend to many and friends shared that they loved her bubbly laugh, sense of humor, and infectious personality. Her loss will be felt deeply by students, staff, and faculty across campus." The collision and circumstances of the incident are being investigated by the SPD's Traffic Collision Investigation Squad. The police say additional updates will be shared as additional information becomes available.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe