Vindhya Puttagunta, 20, died after she was crushed by a black Chevrolet Impala while out walking with the unidentified man in the early hours of Wednesday.
He sat on a wall off the road in Omaha, Neb. – only for her to lay down in the middle of the blacktop in a bid to attract his attention.
The accident left her with extremely critical injuries, and she died shortly afterwards. The driver of the car that killed Puttagunta, a native of Folsom, Ca., left the scene but was later found and taken into custody.
Maura Murray, who studied with Puttagunta at Creighton University said she was unsure why her friend would have laid down on the road, but said that she enjoyed goofing around.
She told KETV: ‘She was one of the most selfless people that I’ve ever known, so it just breaks my heart to know how much compassion I believe she would have had even for the person who hit her.
‘She always made everybody in the room laugh and she became best friends with everybody.’
Pal Caleb Sebora also heaped praise on his late friend, saying: ‘She just helped me see, and I think helped a lot of people see, just the humanity behind everybody.’
Addressing the hit-and-run driver, he added: ‘I wish that you would not have fled. ‘Just out of human dignity, human respect.’