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Police: Driver strikes and kills FAU alumna in Boca Raton

Sowmya Gudla, a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) 2023 graduate hailing from Telangana, India, died on May 26 after being hit by a car while crossing a road in Boca Raton. The fatal pedestrian crash occurred on the 6500 block of North Military Trail – near the Mizner Court Apartments, according to a Boca Raton Police...

Sowmya Gudla, a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) 2023 graduate hailing from Telangana, India, died on May 26 after being hit by a car while crossing a road in Boca Raton.

The fatal pedestrian crash occurred on the 6500 block of North Military Trail – near the Mizner Court Apartments, according to a Boca Raton Police Department (BRPD) press release on May 28. 

The press release stated that Gudla was struck at approximately 9:30 p.m. by Alexander Kargin Utkin, a 56-year-old man driving a 2023 Volkswagen traveling southbound on North Military Trail. His vehicle struck Gudla as she crossed the roadway midblock.

According to the report, Gudla was transported to a local hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced deceased. The driver, Utkin, was not injured or charged as the BRPD’s Traffic Homicide Unit is still investigating the crash. 

The 25-year-old woman graduated in fall 2023 with a Master of Science from FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Gudla’s cousin, Tarun Pagidipalli, ​​created a GoFundMe to help her family financially during this difficult time and to assist with her outstanding student loans. Donors have raised $46,820 of the $120,000 target goal as of May 29. 

“[Gudla] had just begun to embark on her professional journey, with dreams of easing her family’s financial burdens and repaying her student loans,” the GoFundMe page stated. “She aspired to build a successful career that would not only secure her own future but also provide stability and support for her loved ones back home.” 

Gudla’s family has appealed for assistance in bringing her body back to Telangana, an Indian media outlet reports.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Laurie Mermet is the Student Life Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email lmermet2022@fau.edu or DM laurie.mmt on Instagram.

Michael Cook is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email cookm2021@fau.edu.

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