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Family tribute to student killed in Canterbury crash

Bihari Payagala
Bihari Payagala

The family of a student who died after being hit by a car have paid tribute to a "kind-hearted, fun-loving girl".

Bihari Payagala, who was in her second year at the University of Kent, was struck by a Ford Fiesta as she crossed St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury, last month.

The 20-year-old was studying at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.

A family statement released today said: "Bihari was a very kind hearted, fun-loving girl who was born and grew up in West London attending St Augustine's Priory in Ealing.

"She enjoyed spending time with her family and was like any other young student of her age, in the midst of experiencing university life at Kent.

"She was an extremely charitable person who had aspired to spend her life working for good causes across the world, which tied in with her strong Buddhist roots.

"She will be sorely missed by her family and we feel extremely fortunate to have known such a beautiful person and to have shared our lives with her."

Miss Payagala was hit by a Ford Fiesta shortly before 2.30pm on Thursday, February 23. The driver, a man in his 60s from Thanet, was unhurt.

Also known as Dona, Miss Payagala is thought to have been living in digs in Downs Road.

Police closed St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury after a female pedestrian was killed in a collision with a car
Police closed St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury after a female pedestrian was killed in a collision with a car

The road was closed for five hours following the collision and police crash investigators are continuing to appeal for witnesses.

Anyone with information should call PC Dave Adams on the Serious Collision Investigation Unit Appeal Line on 01622 798538.


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