Athens man charged with vehicular homicide in UGA student's death


Donterris Jovan Gresham

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was recently indicted for a hit-and-run collision that killed a University of Georgia student in downtown Athens over three months ago.

Donterris Jovan Gresham, 29, of Big Oak Circle – accused of killing 20-year-old UGA junior Ariana Zarse -- was charged with two counts of first-degree homicide by vehicle, and single counts of hit and run, reckless driving, failure to exercise due care toward pedestrian, possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, and driving without a license, according to the indictment filed Jan. 4 in Clarke County Superior Court.

Ariana Zarse

Athens-Clarke County police said that Gresham was the driver of a Honda Accord that struck and killed the UGA student at about 12:12 a.m. Oct. 9 as Zarse and a friend crossed East Broad Street near Foundry Street.

According to a police report, Zarse and her friend were on railroad tracks that are located on East Broad and the tracks “were touching and parallel to an officially marked crosswalk. Yield signs warning of the railroad crossing were also present."

The Honda fled the scene, police said, and Zarse was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where she died, police said.

The Honda was later found abandoned on Berlin Street, and police subsequently identified Gresham as the person who was driving it at the time of the collision.

After police publicly released Gresham’s name and a booking photo from a previous arrest, the suspect surrendered himself at the county jail.

Gresham was denied bond at a Dec. 15 hearing, and is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 9, court records show.

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