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Student killed on Memorial Drive

First-year struck by oncoming car

Beatriz Ponce.

A first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences died early yesterday morning, after being struck by a car on Memorial Drive.

Beatriz Ponce, 17, a student from Caracas, Venezuela, lived in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge. She was returning home with a group of students around 11:30 p.m., according to a preliminary report from the Massachusetts State Police, and was crossing the street at the intersection of Amesbury Street and Memorial Drive when she was hit by an oncoming car. Ponce died roughly four hours later.

The State Police will be conducting an investigation, says Boston University Chief of Police Thomas Robbins. News reports identified the driver as Maurizio Aragona, 31, of Belmont, Mass.; Aragona has not been charged, Robbins says.

Ponce’s parents and siblings were notified by police and arrived from Venezuela on Wednesday to meet with Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore.

“Our prayers and our hearts go out to her family and to those who knew Beatriz,” Elmore wrote in a letter to the University community. “This accident reminds us all of the dangers ever present in our daily lives. During this time of tragedy I encourage us all to reach out to each other in sympathy and support.”

This is the semester’s third motor-vehicle accident involving a student; the last fatality occurred more than a decade ago.

Counseling services are available at the Student Health Services Behavioral Medicine Clinic, 881 Commonwealth Ave. West entrance, 617-353-3569. The Residence Life staff in the dormitories are also on call.