Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Coed, Drives Off With Other Student on Hood

A driver hit two University of Southern California freshmen — killing one — and driving off with the other caught on the hood until stopping to let a passenger out to pull the wounded student off the car, police said Monday.

Adrianna Bachan, 19, of Santa Barbara, was killed and Marcus Garfinkle, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was seriously injured around 3 a.m. Sunday when the motorist ran a red light and struck them just north of the campus.

Garfinkle was pulled off the car and the passenger got back in and it drove away. It was unclear how long Garfinkle was on the hood or how fast the car was going.

"He was heartless, lacked courage, had no regard for human life. This individual should certainly be behind bars," police Detective Jimmy Render said Monday at a news conference.

No arrests had been made Monday.

Garfinkle was in serious but stable condition Monday, officials said. His injuries were not specified.

Police said there were four or five witnesses to the hit and run, which occurred as the students were returning to campus after attending fraternity parties in the neighborhood. None of the witnesses saw the car's license plate.

Police hoped the public or a car-repair shop worker might spot the vehicle, which has a cracked windshield and a damaged front end.

Bachan was a member of the California Gamma Chapter of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. A young woman at the sorority's house declined to comment to The Associated Press, but the group said in a statement it was saddened by Bachan's death.

"Adrianna was both an amazing woman and an outstanding member of our chapter," the sorority said. "She will be greatly missed."

Two candles and bunches of flowers marked the spot of the accident as students streamed by to classes. "For Adri, we will miss your beautiful smile and shining spirit," one note read.

Bachan's mother stood near the crosswalk Monday screaming at passers-by for help in solving the crime. "Please if you saw my daughter being killed, please help me," Carmen Bachan shouted.

She said her daughter graduated last year from Santa Barbara High School, where she was a 4.0 honor student.

"I begged her not to come here because it's a very dangerous university, I told my baby not to come here," the anguished mother said.

John Thomas, assistant chief of the USC Department of Public Safety, said crime has declined in recent years around the university, which is southwest of downtown near Exposition Park and Memorial Coliseum.

"These incidents give the perception this is a bad and violent place to live, but it's gotten much better," he said.

Ainsley Soutiere, who graduated last year, said she feels relatively safe in the area but keeps alert.

"There are crazies everywhere, I guess," she said.