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Search is on for driver of red truck who mowed down teen after fender bender on Long Island

LEVITTOWN, N.Y. — It was just a fender bender, according to police, but it turned into a deadly tragedy. Now, investigators seek the public’s help to find the man responsible, as a community mourns the loss of a promising young woman.

“It’s devastating. It really is,” said Shari Cannata, who’s lived next door to the family of Taranjit Parmar since Parmar was 8 years old. Now, Parmar is dead, at 18, and her killer is on the run.

“Please catch him, okay?” pleaded Cannata.

The fatal crime took place at one of Long Island’s busiest intersections, Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue, just before 5 p.m. Thursday.

Just west of the intersection, a red, four-door pickup struck Parmar’s brand new Jeep. The two vehicles moved off the roadway, and Parmar got out and approached the truck.

Behind the wheel, according to investigators, was a middle aged man wearing a baseball cap. He hit the gas, and ran over Taranjit Parmar, killing her.

“I hope they find him, I really do,” said Cannata. “She was just the sweetest girl. She was like family.”

Cannata was among dozens of people at the young woman’s home here on Friday, mourning her loss.

“The family has no comment,” said a man who’d been sent out of the home to speak with PIX11 News. Beyond that, he had nothing to say.

Police, however, are speaking. Specifically, they’re asking the public to speak as well, about the red pickup and its driver.

“You know what Hempstead Turnpike looks like at 5 p.m. on a Thursday,” Detective Vincent Garcia said at a news conference on Friday. “That’s bumper to bumper traffic. People saw this.”

Investigators ask anyone with information to call 800-244-TIPS (8477) or go online http://nassaucounty.crimestoppersweb.com/wanteds.aspx.

Meanwhile, Adelphi University, where Parmar was a first-year dentistry student, has had grief counselors on campus to help Parmar’s classmates cope with her loss.

People who’ve known her for most of her life said the hurt is unbearable.

“The sweetest girl, with her whole life ahead of her,” said Cannata. “I really hope they find him. I really hope they find who did this.”