URBANA -- People around the state are remembering a UI student killed in a hit-and-run accident this weekend. Police say Anthony Pauls was hit by a drunk driver on University Avenue late Friday night. WCIA-3's Anna Carerra hears from the victim's friends about his promising future.
Pauls had big plans for his life. He was a junior at UI studying electrical engineering. But, he had many other passions as well. Now, people he knew are doing their best to honor his memory.
"It was stunning. I just picture him two weeks ago walking out of my office with a big smile on his face after having such a fun discussion," said Joe Lyding, who was Pauls' mentor.
Joe Lyding first met Pauls when he was a freshman. Lyding worked as his mentor for the past few years, hearing all about Pauls' plans and ambitions.
"He was big into intramural sports and working out," said Lyding. "The latest thing he said was, 'I want to get a minor in history.'"
Pauls was working toward an electrical engineering degree, but that plan was cut short when he was hit by a drunk driver on Friday. Authorities say the driver, 20-year old Albert Fleming, left the scene, but was quickly tracked down by police.
Three days later, students and staff in his department had a moment of silence at the start of each class to remember him.
"There's a certain breadth there, and I think it showed up in his personality," said Lyding. "He's the kind of guy who everyone liked."
People who knew Pauls say it's nearly impossible to grasp what happened this weekend, but they hope to hold onto memories of him close to their hearts.
"We're going to miss him, definitely. A lot of people are going to miss him," said Lyding.
The UI is offering grief counseling for students who want it. Fleming was officially charged in Champaign County court Monday. He faces three charges including not reporting the accident and driving under the influence.
Original: 2:53 pm, 10/13/12, Saturday
URBANA -- A UI student is dead after being hit by a car. It happened just before midnight Friday night.
Police say 20-year-old Albert Fleming was driving drunk on University Avenue Urbana and hit the student.
The victim was 22-year old Anthony Pauls. He's from Lake in the Hills, a Chicago suburb.
When police got to the scene they found the student on the ground, but the driver was nowhere to be found. After patrolling the area, they found a car with a lot of front-end damage and made an arrest.
Witnesses say they heard a loud scream. When they went outside, they saw Pauls on the ground bleeding from his head.
"I would never think it'd happen. I do see a lot of people cut through this street."
"It's just really shocking that it would happen and someone would be drinking and driving."
Fleming is being charged for driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident. He's being held in the Champaign County Jail. The UI is offering counseling for grieving students.Call the emergency dean at (217) 333-0050.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: Tip397 + info to CRIMES (274637)