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Police continue search for hit-and-run driver who killed UGA student in downtown Athens

Ariana Zarse

By Joe Johnson

The search for the driver of the car that fatally struck a University of Georgia student in downtown Athens over the weekend continued on Monday, according to Lt. Shaun Barnett, public information officer for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

Police said that 20-year-old Ariana "Ari" Zarse was struck by a Honda Accord at about 12:12 a.m. Saturday while she and a friend were crossing East Broad Street just east of Foundry Street.

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

Zarse, a native of Austin, TX, was director of social events for the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and a member of UGA’s class of 2023, according to her LinkedIn page. She was studying marketing and public relations.

Investigators later located the Honda, which had been abandoned on Berlin Street, where the registered owner does not live, according to Barnett, who said he was limited in what else he could publicly add about the investigation.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, we are not releasing details about investigative interviews or what was said during those interviews, to include statements about who may or may not have been in the vehicle, or has access to the vehicle,” The officer said.

Police asked for anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Officer First Class Dustin Tilley at (762) 400-7355 or

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