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San Jose State student dies after hit-and-run

A pedestrian struck and critically injured by a suspected drunken driver early Sunday next to San Jose State University died Monday afternoon, according to San Jose police.

The victim was pronounced dead at 1:53 p.m. today, police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said. Police did not release the victim’s name but members of SJSU’s Delta Sigma Phi fraternity announced on Twitter and a page set up on stated he was Chi Lam, who was an engineering student and the historian of the fraternity chapter.

Lam was killed when a motorist crashed into him at 12:59 a.m. Sunday as he walked across the street in the 100 block of South 10th Street at the far northeast end of the college campus, Randol said.

Police later arrested the suspected driver, Solomon Friese, 22, and booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run resulting in serious injury, Randol said.

Friese allegedly drove away from the collision scene, crashed into a parked car on South Eighth Street at East San Salvador Street, then exited his vehicle and fled into his apartment prior to surrendering to police officers a short time later, police said.

Lam was taken to a hospital suffering from critical and life-threatening injuries and remained there until his death this afternoon, police said.

Delta Sigma Phi plans to hold a fundraiser for Lam’s family on Thursday at the 4th Street Pizza Company restaurant at 150 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to the local chapter’s website.

Lam was a member of the fraternity since he pledged for it in fall 2012, was in his sixth year at SJSU working on an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and had been expected to graduate next spring, according to the GoFundMe fundraising page.

He was also a member of SJSU’s Vietnamese Student Association and the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations, according to the site.

His supporters wrote on the GoFundMe website:

“Chi is remembered as a kind-hearted, genuine person that consistently made others smile. … His gentle tone and encouraging words brightened the lives of many and left a significant impact on all those he had conversations with. … He was also an avid photographer, artist, designer, runner, and great basketball player.”

The fundraising website took in more than $9,300 by this afternoon toward its goal of $50,000 to aid his family in paying for expenses associated with Lam’s death, organizers stated on the website.

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