A University of Southern California student was struck and killed over the weekend by a driver believed to be taking part in a street race, police said Monday.
The student, identified by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office as 21-year old Arian Rahmar, was in a crosswalk just yards from his home when he was struck after picking up food Saturday afternoon, said Los Angeles Police Det. Ryan Moreno.
Witnesses said the suspects, who were driving an Infiniti G37 and a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, stopped at a red light near the USC campus and were revving their engines prior to the collision, Moreno tells CNN.
“The light turned green and the race was on,” said Moreno, adding that the race appeared to be spontaneous and was not an organized street takeover.
After traveling a few blocks at a high rate of speed, the driver of the Challenger struck Rahmar in a marked crosswalk, police said.
“The impact was so strong it sent him airborne,” said Moreno.
An SUV was stopped in the first lane of traffic, allowing Rahmar to walk through. Moreno believes it’s possible the vehicle obstructed the Dodge driver’s view of Rahmar.
The driver of the Infiniti pulled over immediately and called 911, according to Moreno, and the driver of the Dodge pulled over a short distance away.
Rahmar was a junior at USC, majoring in computer science. Moreno said he had just accepted a job at Facebook.
Both drivers were arrested on a murder charge. The driver of the Dodge is currently being held on $2 million bail, jail records show. Neither driver has a serious criminal history, Moreno said, but each has been cited for speeding in the past.
It was not immediately clear whether either man has retained legal representation.
LAPD plans to present the case to the District Attorney’s office late Monday and both drivers are expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday.
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