Police in Hartford, Conn. arrested a man for the hit-and-run tragedy that killed a St. Johnsbury woman on March 31, 2022. Karanja Thomas, 45, of Hartford, Conn., was taken into custody on Wednesday by members of the Hartford Police Fugitive Task Force, Violent Crimes Unit and Auto Theft Task Force. Authorities believe he is the person who was driving a vehicle that struck three pedestrians at the intersection of New Britain Avenue and Henry Street. Among the victims was Jillian Hegarty, age 20, of St. Johnsbury, who was attending Trinity College in Hartford at the time. All three were transported to area hospitals. Hegarty succumbed to her injuries. The driver fled the scene. Police in Hartford determined Thomas was the suspect in the crime. A felony arrest warrant was issued. Following his arrest, a $300,000 bond was set by a judge. Thomas faces charges of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, assault in the 3rd degree, reckless endangerment in the 2nd degree, evading responsibility resulting in death, evading responsibility resulting in injury and operation of a motor vehicle under a suspended license. The tragic death of Hergarty was deeply felt both in her college community and in her home community. Hegarty was a member of SJA’s student government, a student orientation leader, a community service volunteer, an athlete, a camp counselor and a dancer.
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