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Indian-American teens killed after family’s car is rear-ended by suspected drunk driver

NRI Pulse Staff Report

Los Angeles, CA, December 27, 2021: Friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday afternoon in Chatsworth, California to support the parents of two Indian-American teens who were killed by a suspected drunk driver in a crash one week before Christmas.

Arjit Reddy Chettupally (14) and Akshata Reddy Chettupally (Lucky) (16) died after a driver rear-ended the family’s vehicle on Lassen Street near Oakdale, according to police.

They were returning with their parents from a family friend’s place in Chatsworth around 10.45 pm when their car was hit by a 20-year-old driver under DUI. Their father Ram Chettupally is still in hospital, but in stable condition. Their mother Rajani was also injured in the crash.

“Until Saturday, December 19, the Chettupalli family was living the perfect American dream,” according to a GoFundMe fundraiser created for the family. “A hard-working immigrant, Ramachandra Reddy, got his green card last year after 16 years, and had just bought their home.”


“Arjit (14 years old) was declared dead on the same day and Akshata (16 years old) was put on life-support. She fought hard for a week but unfortunately, we lost her on Christmas day (12/25). The parents are out of danger and are expected to recover physically. However, the emotional trauma they are enduring is unimaginable.”

“Both the kids were extremely talented, focused, and gifted. In addition to getting high GPAs, they earned numerous awards in tennis, chess, karate, robotics. Both the kids also won presidential voluntary service awards consecutively for three years.”

Akshata, a junior, was the school vice president at North Hollywood magnet school. She was trying to get into an Ivy league next year. Arjit was in the 8th grade at Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth.

Both parents, Ram and Rajani, are very active in the community and volunteer for several organizations. Rajani volunteers as a teacher in Manabadi to teach kids Telugu.

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