Updated after the jump with a tremendous show of love and respect for the teen, and a fundraiser for her family, while police continue to investigate the accident.
Alice Zhang, one of two 16-year-old girls hit by a car while making their way across West Duarte Road on Sunday at 6:45 p.m., was declared dead in a hospital soon after.
The other girl is still being treated for “serious injuries” at Huntington Memorial Hospital, according to an Arcadia Police Department press release.
The department's watch commander says the 20-year-old male driver who hit the teens while travelling west on Duarte was not arrested for the accident.
“It's just one of the unfortunate circumstances of time of day, and position of the sun,” he says, adding that the light was shining brightly in the driver's eyes.
Add that to the “heavy pedestrian traffic in the area” — a strip mall on the north side of the street, and a medical center to the south — and the situation turned deadly. (Another Arcadia man was just killed in December outside the shopping center, though that incident was a hit-and-run.)
According to her Facebook page, Zhang attended Arcadia High School, located just a few blocks from the mall — and the spot where she and her friend were hit. Zhang appears to have been a long-distance runner on the Arcadia High track team, as well as a member of the school's physics team.
Did you know Alice? Share below.
Update: Arcadia High School students took to the comment boards in droves yesterday, telling of Alice Zhang's quiet strength of character and many academic/extracurricular achievements. From Weekly commenters who seem to have known her best:
Guest says, “Alice Zhang was a close friend of mine. Her calm and shy demeanor belies the extremely hardworking and ambitious person she really is. Although at times under-appreciated or simply passed-by because she was so quiet, she was an incredibly resilient, intelligent, and compassionate girl who undoubtedly had great potential for the future. She took multiple Advanced Placement courses, is a member of long distance Track, Physics Team, Leo Club, etc. Life is fleeting. We students at Arcadia High wish her family the best.”
Karu says, “Alice was one of my best friends. I loved her–we all did–us, people that were lucky enough to cross paths with her, that is. She was incredibly warm, passionate, clever, and above all, compassionate… She always tried so hard, but she never told anyone, because she didn't want anyone to worry–that's what I, and so many people loved about her. She is a person to be admired. There's an enormous outpouring of support for her, and it warms me to see that–it only goes to show that Alice will continue to live on through the influence she had on every one of us. We love and will miss you, Alice.”
Many others say that though they didn't know Zhang well, the brief interactions they had with her left a strong impression.
A Facebook event called “RIP Dear Alice Zhang, Please Show Some Support!” has amassed close to 3,000 “attendees” since its creation yesterday. The description reads:
“Please drop off your cards or donations during Period 2, Lunch or afterschool at A-213. Look for Alwyna Lau, and if you can't find her, Mr. Lee.”
According to the Pasadena Star-News, the 20-year-old man who hit Zhang and her friend was driving a 1997 Lexus Sedan. One Weekly commenter wrote yesterday that “today I passed by the site where Alice was struck, and I saw policemen there.” Indeed, Arcadia police tell us the investigation is ongoing. We'll update with additional details as they're available.
Originally posted April 11 at 9:05 a.m.