According to Philadelphia Daily News
, during the early morning hours on Sunday, Polina Kadiyska had just finished up a performance at a side job and was headed home when she was hit by a driver alleged to have run a red light as the dancer crossed a Philadelphia street. The driver fled the scene of the accident.
Police said Kadiyska had first picked up some food at a Chinese restaurant after her performance concluded and was crossing an intersection when a green Audi struck her down. The car then subsequently hit three other parked cars in the vicinity before the driver fled the scene of the accident by foot, reported NBC Philadelphia
Kadiyska was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where she was in a coma and placed on life support. Her parents arrived from Bulgaria to say goodbye to their daughter before she taken off life support on Tuesday morning, NBC reported.
"We had kind of known it was coming," said Brian McCole, the General Manager of the Rock School told NBC. "But nonetheless it's still a punch to the gut when you do get the news."
"She was one of the hardest workers we had here," said McCole. "She always volunteered for any dirty job that had to be done around here. Just a beautiful, energetic person."
Polina Kadiyska moved to the U.S. from Bulgaria three years ago to study at the Rock School for Dance Education
, and was noted to be very talented with a promising career. She had been working with Jewelz Entertainment to make money while attending school, but had reportedly been dancing at a separate job on the evening she was fatally injured.
The alleged driver of the car was arrested by police when he and his passenger returned to the car to pick up some possessions. The suspect is 19-year-old Deandre Barnes, who was initially charged with aggravated assault and driving under the influence (DUI), however police now say one of the charges will be homicide by vehicle.
Barnes' court hearing is scheduled for April 3. His defense attorney reportedly said his client did not run a red light. Police reports state Kadiyska had the right-of-way when she was crossing the street.
reported school director Stephanie Wolf-Spassoff said Kadiyska was getting ready to audition for major ballet companies.
Wolf-Spassoff said Kadiyska, a third year student at the school, was a mentor to younger dancers and the last few months had been the "happiest for Polina," as she prepared for the auditions.
"The best dancers do what they do not only because they love to dance, but also because they love sharing the beauty of the art form with others," she said. "I think that that's how everyone will remember Polina."
According to the Rock School of Dance's Facebook
page, a memorial for Polina Kadiyska will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently the school is accepting cards, gifts (and donations in lieu of flowers) for Kadiyska's family.