MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 19-year-old has been arrested in the death of Ava Christopher, a student at the University of Memphis who was killed in a hit-and-run in July.
Julio Hernandez is charged with disregarding a red light, failure to exercise due care, violation of financial law, leaving a scene of an accident involving death, no driver’s license, reckless driving, and vehicular homicide.
Memphis Police say on July 25, Hernandez was driving a Dodge Challenger in Midtown going 88 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. He ran a red light and collided with Christopher; she died from her injuries.
Hernandez allegedly fled the scene on foot with another person. Police did not release any information regarding the other person involved.
The vehicle was reported stolen out of Southaven, MS. The rims from the vehicle were missing at the time of the crash.
On November 16, Hernandez was found driving his vehicle with the stolen rims from the Dodge Challenger. Officers initiated a stop, and he was taken into custody.
Reports state that Hernandez admitted to driving the stolen car at the time of the fatal crash. He did not have a valid license and could not provide proof of insurance.
He is set to appear in court on November 20.
MJ Learned got the news about her best friend from her dorm in Murfreesboro. For Learned, it’s bittersweet.
“I can almost feel her presence,” Learned said. “It was like, ‘We did it. You got justice, and it’s what you deserve.’ It cannot bring her back. There is always gonna be an empty spot in my heart she can’t fill, memories I can’t relive with her, but it is nice to know there will be justice for her.”
Learned says at 18, she struggles to know Hernandez is 19 years old and charged with vehicular homicide.
“Even though they killed one of my best friends, I hope they find some sort of peace,” Learned said. “They don’t deserve it, but I hope they do.”
The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music said in a post that Christopher was “a cherished member” of the university’s school of music.