Hit-and-Run Suspect Responsible for Student Death Arrested

2 min read

Melina Korfonta ’25

News Editor

Hartford police have arrested the hit-and-run driver responsible for the death of Trinity student Jillian Hegarty ’24 in March 2022. The driver was detained on February 8th, according to WFSB 3.

The incident took place  on March 31st around 11:30 p.m. on New Britain Avenue and Henry Street, just off of Trinity’s campus. In addition to Jillian Hegarty, who passed the day after the accident due to the injuries sustained, two other Trinity students were harmed during the collision. One sustained minor injuries and the other student remained in serious condition following the accident. Both students recovered from their injuries and were later released.

According to Hartford police, the hit-and-run occurred as the students were attempting to cross New Britain Avenue. As they continued to cross the street toward campus, they were struck by a gray Volkswagen Touareg just after 11:30 p.m.  

The driver fled the scene, heading east on New Britain Avenue following the collision. Only recently has he been identified as Karanja Thomas, 45, of Hartford by local police. 

Thomas was identified by the Hartford Police Crime Scene Division as the operator of the gray Volkswagen Touareg. Hartford police were then granted a felony arrest warrant for Thomas.

Thomas is being charged with assault in the 3rd degree, negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment in the 2nd degree, evading responsibility resulting in death, operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and evading responsibility resulting in injury. Thomas is currently being held on a $300,000 bond. 

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