Friends mourn Fresno State student killed in hit-and-run crash on Highway 180

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – An accident on a Fresno highway claimed the life of a 23-year old college student early Saturday morning.

The California Highway Patrol says 23-year-old Devan Nicole Elayda, known as Nicole, was hit and killed by an oncoming vehicle near Highway 180 and Cedar Avenue.

The news has come as a shock to the close friends of Elayda, who was well known in various social circles with a huge following on TikTok and Instagram.

Smiling photos and videos on TikTok are all that friends of Elayda have left.

“She was really bubbly, I remember her coming up to me and she automatically just hugged me,” explained Santiago Albarran.

Albarran is an influencer on TikTok, he goes by the name of @Santea_ and has nearly 3 million followers on the social media platform.

“It was a really fun event, I had never been to a club in Fresno that was my first time, and she was really welcoming,” said Albarran.

Albarran had the opportunity to meet Elayda a few weeks ago when he came to Fresno.

“She was really bubbly, I remember her coming up to me and she automatically just hugged me,” explained Albarran.

He was shocked to learn of her death.

“I was just reflecting on it for a good while I was just sitting there just thinking about it, thinking about her, and I just, I went back to the picture that she posted of us and it just really broke my heart,” Albarran recalled.

It was in the early morning hours when authorities reported that Elayda was driving her car on Highway 180 and stopped the vehicle in the center median to switch sides with the passenger.

As Elayda was walking to the passenger side, officers say she was struck and killed by a silver or gray Lexus sedan that fled the scene

Close friends of Elayda were too distraught to talk Saturday but did send us these statements talking about her kindness and her energetic mood.

She could light the whole room up by just walking in. Her energy was captivating

She was understanding and was there whenever you needed her. She’d cheer you up if you had a bad day. She was such a sweet soul that everyone loved to be around” – Berenice Zuniga and Serena Marquez.

Anyone with information on the vehicle is asked to call the California Highway Patrol at (559) 262-0400.

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