Candlelight vigil remembers Indian American teens Arjit and Akshata Reddy

Brother and sister died in a tragic road accident while returning from a family get together

Akshata “Lucky” Chettupalli, 16, and her brother 14-year-old Arjit were traveling home from Chatsworth, a Los Angeles suburb, with their parents late at night on Dec 18 when the family’s SUV was struck by a suspected DUI driver.

Arjit died that night, his sister was taken off life support on Christmas Day after being pronounced brain dead, according to local media reports.

The two were students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Arjit was an eighth-grader at Lawrence Middle School located in Chatsworth, a Los Angeles suburb.

Read: Indian Americans hold candlelight vigils for 13 fallen US soldiers (August 31, 2021)

Akshata was a junior at the Gifted Magnet Program at North Hollywood High School. She was also the student council class president.

Friends and family gathered Sunday night for a candlelight vigil at the corner of Lassen Street and Oakdale Avenue to mourn the deaths of the two teenagers, abc7.com reported.

“Those kids are beyond belief talented, and highly gifted kids,” their father Ram Chettupalli was quoted as saying. “It is unbelievable both kids are gone in one family.”

“My kids … there are not enough words to describe,” he said. “My daughter was amazing and my son was, in a simple word, was kind of a human computer.

“They were very disciplined. They never did a single thing to the society. My daughter used to always tell me, ‘Daddy, I don’t know what I will do, but I will do something great for the society.'”

Dozens surrounded the heartbroken parents at Sunday’s vigil, which was held at the crash site.

Prayers were chanted, candles were lit and tribute was paid to the two teens at the vigil as heart-broken family members thanked the community for their support. Many of Akshata’s friends came out on Sunday to show their support.

“Lucky was a consistently uplifting spirit and such a hard working student,” said classmate Enzo Banal. “We knew her from student council. She was the vice president of junior council, and it’s just such a heart-wrenching loss.”

The close-knit Indian community in San Fernando Valley has been shaken since the tragedy, and they hope the siblings’ family finds solace with the help of family and friends, abc7 said.

Investigators cited by abc7 said the driver, a 20-year-old woman, was reportedly driving under the influence. She has since been arrested on murder charges.

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