DENVER (CBS4) – Police in Denver are looking for a hit-and-run driver who hit and killed a University of Denver student.
The collision happened at the intersection of University and Evans just before 9 p.m. Thursday and the victim — Masoud Bahramisharif, 24, of Iran — died in the hospital early Friday morning.
Witnesses say a man in a red Jeep was driving fast and recklessly when it happened. They say the driver swerved around cars and blew through a red light. At that point the car hit Bahramisharif, who was walking his bike across the road.
“… saw him lying in the road and at that point he was still alive, was still breathing,” said DU student William Pickard.
Pickard is also an engineering student who saw the accident on his way home. It wasn’t until Friday morning he learned who the victim was.
“We’re kind of close-knit. To realize after seeing him there knowing it was probably a student and then knowing he was from our department is tough,” said Pickard.
Police say Bahramisharif was thrown several feet. The bicycle was dragged by the Jeep and was found several blocks away.
One witness, Bill Heilscher, said he was walking right behind Bahramisharif when he was struck and said he was riding his bicycle not walking it across the street.
“(The car) was driving very recklessly. It swerved around cars that were stopped for the red light, almost struck a vehicle that was going southbound, and swerved around it,” Denver police Sgt. Brian Conover said.
Several people stopped to try to help Bahramisharif and were able to describe the car but they didn’t get the license plate number or a good look at the driver. Police say the Jeep is an early 2000s model with dark tinted windows. They said it likely has front end damage.
Bahramisharif was a graduate student pursuing a PhD in engineering. He came to DU for school in September and his mother recently flew over to the United States to visit him. She was still in Denver when the crash happened.
Arash Hajjam was one of the victim’s first friends in the U.S. and broke the news to Bahramisharif’s mother.
“I would like to say she’s doing okay but I think it’s more the shock of the accident so she was crying a lot last night,” said Hajjam. “He was a talented student. He was a nice person. He was admired by his colleagues and friends.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
DU released this statement regarding Bahramisharif’s death: “We extend our deepest sympathy to Masoud’s family and friends. Arrangements are pending, and we will share this information as soon as it is available.”