Updated 4.43pm with tributes

The woman who died on Wednesday morning after being hit by a car and then allegedly assaulted by its driver has been identified as interior designer Pelin Kaya.

Kaya was hit by a black BMW as she walked on Testaferrata Street at 1am, just one hour into her 30th birthday. She died at Mater Dei Hospital after being rushed there by an ambulance crew. 

Her family has been informed of her death and relatives are expected to fly to Malta later on Wednesday. 

The 30-year-old, who was originally from Istanbul, was an interior designer who worked at high-end furniture store Onepercent in Birkirkara.

Her colleagues described her as a "dear team-mate" and friend. 

"Having formed part of our team for the past year, Pelin has left an indelible mark on us all that will never be forgotten," the company said in a Facebook post that included a group photograph of her team. 

Sending their condolences to her family, her colleagues said they were "lost for words as we reel in shock from this tragedy".  

Another colleague said she was a "wonderful person" who would be greatly missed. He told Times of Malta that she had been working at the company for the past year.

The victim lived in Gżira, not far from the crash site, and had been living in Malta for over a year. A social media post she published to a local Facebook group showed that until last week she was looking for a new female flatmate. 

Driver and victim 'did not know each other'

The driver who ran her over, 33-year-old Jeremie Camilleri, was arrested on-site after being subdued by police officers. He later tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.

Sources told Times of Malta that police do not believe that Kaya and Camilleri knew each other.  

CCTV footage of the crash showed Camilleri walking out of the vehicle, apparently unscathed, and striding across to the other side of the road. 

Eyewitnesses have claimed that he then threw stones at the victim as she lay on the ground, assaulted passers-by and resisted arrest. Police said he had to be tased to be subdued. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, he was being kept under observation at Mater Dei Hospital. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us