A Randallstown woman was killed by a drunken driver in a hit-and-run accident early Sunday in College Park, Prince George's County police said.
Janelle Marie Oni, 21, was crossing U.S. 1 near Hartwick Road about 3 a.m. Sunday when she was struck by a minivan, police said. Oni was pronounced dead at the scene.
"She was my rock, my angel, and my only child," said her mother Ana Burnett. "She had gone out to dinner with her sorority sisters and, boom, her whole life is gone."
Oni graduated in May from Salisbury University where she focused on conflict resolution and communication, her mother said.
Burnett said there should be stricter penalties for drinking and driving, "Someone decided it was OK to get in car after drinking, and drive. A car is a weapon. They ruined a whole family. She will never get married. I will never have grandchildren."
Police later found and arrested Jacky Luangraj, 33, of Manassas, Va., who they say was driving the minivan that struck the victim. Luangraj was charged with negligent auto homicide, driving under the influence and reckless endangerment, police said. At the time of his arrest, police said, Luangraj's blood-alcohol limit was almost twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
A lawyer for Luangraj was not listed in electronic court records.
Oni had plans to go to graduate school so she could counsel underprivileged children, her mother said. Her family described her as someone who was always interested in helping others, saying she had just finished one week working as a residence assistant for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, where she served as a mentor for underprivileged children and took them to visit Baltimore-area colleges to have exposure to different opportunities.
"She was the best kid any parent would want," said her stepfather, Hector Brown.
Oni graduated from Randallstown High School in Baltimore County and had worked at a local Wendy's. Her mother said she had had some kind of job ever since she was 16.
"Janelle wanted to be somebody," Burnett said. "She was a young black woman and knew the odds. She worked harder than others and was a happy person."
At Salisbury, Oni was a part of the Untouchables Dance group and often volunteered for community service events, said college friend Ivory Bell.
Sunday's was the third pedestrian fatality on the busy stretch this year.
The strip of U.S. 1 between Hartwick and Knox roads includes several bars and restaurants popular with college students. The road is also known as Baltimore Avenue.
In January, University of Maryland student Cory Hubbard, 22, was killed in a hit-and-run accident on U.S. 1 near Knox Road. The driver eventually turned himself in, but police said Hubbard was not using the crosswalk.
In April, George Washington University student Carlos Pacanins, 23, was killed crossing near the same intersection. The driver who struck Pacanins was not charged, but police said Pacanins had been drinking with friends that night and alcohol likely contributed to the accident.
Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Swift contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun