Crime & Courts

UNC Charlotte mourns student killed while crossing a busy, dark street on his way home

The UNC Charlotte community is mourning an international graduate student who was killed while crossing a dark stretch of University City Boulevard on his way home late Friday.

Vivek Pathipati, a 24-year-old from Bangalore, India, was fulfilling his parents’ dream of a university education when he was hit just before midnight near Mallard Creek Road, according to an online message to students by UNCC’s International Student and Scholar Office.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Medic, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release.

Pathipati “was either standing or walking in the right lane ... near the white dashed divider lines” when a van driver hit him in the 9800 block of the boulevard, according to the CMPD release.

Pathipati “was not in a designated crosswalk or near an intersection,” police said. “Speed is not suspected to be a factor in this crash.”

The stretch of road is unlit, and the driver stayed at the scene, according to police.

Support has poured in for Pathipati’s family: $35,648 has been raised on GoFundMe to send his remains to India and help pay for his funeral and memorial expenses. First cousin Manoj Maddipatla of Connecticut started the page.

“Vivek leaves behind his devastated parents, friends and relatives,” his cousin said on the site. “A strong determination to do his master’s and to fulfill his parent’s dream ended with an unfortunate tragedy.”

“We are grateful to have known him and he will always be remembered as an important part of the international student community at UNC Charlotte,” according to the message by the university’s International Student and Scholar Office. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and with you at this sad time. May his soul rest in peace.”

Any witnesses are asked to call CMPD Officer Justin Kupfer at 704-432-2169 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Fewer pedestrians died on Charlotte streets through the first half of the year after a record 28 deaths in 2018.

On July 7, a 27-year-old man died when a light rail train hit him while crossing the tracks in the University City area, police said in a news release at the time.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.