U-Md. student, fatally hit by car in College Park, had a sunny outlook, friends say


Car involved in hit-and-run incident in College Park (Prince George's County Police)

Cory Hubbard had plans.

After finishing a semester abroad in Australia, the University of Maryland student returned to the States last month, looking forward to rejoining the campus men’s club lacrosse team in February and graduating with a kinesiology degree in May.

But those plans were cut short Friday. A little before 2 a.m., a dark sedan fatally struck Hubbard, 22, as he crossed the street in what police described as a hit-and-run accident.

A man who identified himself as the driver surrendered to police about 4 p.m., authorities said, but as of Friday night, police had not released the man’s name or filed charges in the case.

“My husband and I have been saying all morning he is the light of our family,” said Hubbard’s mother, Holly Hubbard, from the family home in Westhampton Beach, N.Y. “He had a lot of life in him.”


University of Maryland student Cory Hubbard, left, was fatally struck by a car early Friday morning in what police are calling a hit-and-run. Hubbard spent his fall semester studying abroad in Australia with friend Mickey Colombo, right. (Courtesy of Mickey Colombo)

Friends have called him the “rainbow on the rainy day,” the “bright light in everyone’s dark day” and a guy who was so positive, “you could never tell if he was having the worst day ever.”

The accident occurred in an area near the U-Md. campus in downtown College Park, whose shops, restaurants and bars have many students as customers. Hubbard was crossing Baltimore Avenue near Knox Road when he was hit. Police said he was not in a crosswalk.

“The driver did not stop at all,” said Officer Harry Bond, a police spokesman.

Hubbard was pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said. Police said they had found the car involved in the accident and were gathering evidence before filing charges.

Tiffany Bagherian, a friend of Hubbard’s who graduated from U-Md. last year, said it’s common for students to jaywalk across Baltimore Avenue. “How many times have we crossed that street just like him after being out?” Bagherian said. It seems, she said, like “a billion people do it every single year.”

Another person was crossing the street at the time of the accident, but police did not know whether Hubbard and the other pedestrian were walking together, Bond said. The other person was not injured.

U-Md. President Wallace D. Loh called Hubbard’s death a “tragic, senseless accident” and said campus officials were helping Prince George’s police with the investigation.

On Friday, friends and relatives remembered Hubbard as an outgoing, athletic personality who loved the outdoors. He surfed and snowboarded, as well as playing lacrosse, they said.

One of his Facebook profile photos shows him doing a midair stunt while wakeboarding. And the cover photo shows him and two friends at a scenic overlook with a view of a lake and snow-capped mountains in New Zealand.

Hubbard was a starter and a goalie for the U-Md. men’s club lacrosse team, said the team president, Alex Smith, 19.

“Last year, he had a fantastic game against Penn State, who ended up winning the national championship, but we beat them earlier in the season,” Smith said. “He was good as a player, and he was good as a person.”

Hubbard’s mother said she and her husband were glad that their son could experience a “trip of a lifetime” in Australia before he died in “such a tragic accident.” She said the family will miss her son’s uplifting personality.

“He makes us laugh. He makes us mad. He makes us cry,” Holly Hubbard said. “It’s just so devastating. He’s going to be missed terribly.”

Patrick Svitek contributed to this report.

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.
I'm a Washington Post reporter, working an early morning shift that deals with crime, lottery winners, traffic, you name it.
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