City girl dies New York hit-and-run

A YOUNG woman from Edinburgh has been killed in a hit and run accident in New York.

Julia Thomson, 24, of Hermitage Drive, Morningside, was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital in Queens after she was hit by a car on East Fourth Street and the Bowery yesterday just after 4am New York time, 9am in Britain.

She had been crossing the road, not far from the apartment where she was staying with a friend, when she was struck by a Mercedes- Benz.

She suffered serious head injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. Her

family were informed of the news late last night and were still trying to contact friends and relatives this morning.

They said a funeral for Miss Thomson, who had dual UK and American citizenship, would most likely be held in Scotland.

But they said they had been told they may have to wait until the police have finished their investigation before the body can be returned.

Julia had been in New York looking for a job in marketing and had been renting an apartment in the city's popular Bowery district with a close friend.

Her brother William said: "She had been to New York quite a few times, and she knew the city quite well.

"She loved America. This has obviously been a huge shock, and we are still taking it in.

"She was a wonderful sister. She was the only daughter of the family and it used to be the four of us - her and her three brothers. Now she's gone, and we will all miss her so much."

Miss Thomson's mother was understood to be flying back from Brazil after being told of the tragic accident. She also has family who live in America.

Miss Thomson grew up in Edinburgh and was educated at St George's School and Queen Margaret University, before going to Newcastle University, where she studied politics.

She had recently spent her summer breaks working in bars at the city's Fringe Festival.

The Bowery area in New York is a well-known part of Manhattan's East Village, and it is believed Miss Thomson was on her way home from a night out with friends when the accident happened.

Shocked onlookers said the car had been speeding and did not even attempt to stop after striking her.

Police quickly tracked down the car and identified the driver as 21-year-old Tenzing Bhutai, of Forest Hills, Queens.

He was arrested by officers on charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.

Ms Thomson's father, also called William, said he had spoken to police in New York, and that news that a man had been arrested in connection with the accident was little comfort.

He said: "I still don't have a daughter."

Her brother added: "This has just been a tragic accident."

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