Accused in serial hit-and-run case in court, Utah Nepalese rally around most recent victim

Mar 27, 2024, 7:07 PM | Updated: 7:47 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The man accused in the case of four serial hit-and-runs in Utah made his first court appearance Wednesday.

Ahn Pham appeared virtually before a 3rd District Court judge. His appearance was brief; the judge simply told him he has a bail hearing Friday. The only time Pham spoke was to say that he understood the judge’s orders.

Pham faces six counts of attempted murder in four hit-and-runs that prosecutors say were intentional and targeted women. There are four accident sites in Salt Lake City and Sandy.

Salt Lake police said they are looking into another hit-and-run case from March 2 by East High School but have not said Pham is a suspect in that one.

The locations of four hit-and-run incidents police say were all done by the same person.

Utah Nepalese rally around badly injured community member

The woman Pham is accused of hitting on March 11 is named Nisha Shrestha. She’s from Nepal and an international student at Weber State University. As she recovers in a hospital bed, her Nepalese community is now rallying around her.

“She’s conscious as of now. She’s speaking, she’s taking food,” said Biplav Timalsina, President of the Nepalese Association of Utah.

He said Shrestha has serious injuries to her thigh, pelvis, and head and has been in and out of intensive care after multiple surgeries.

“It feels like anyone who is affected inside our community it could be us, one among us,” Timalsina said.

Man charged with six counts of attempted murder for ‘targeting’ female pedestrians with his car


He didn’t know Shrestha before the accident. With most of her family still in Nepal, his group, along with a group of those from her village in Nepal, are stepping up.

Timalsina said members of the community are visiting her. They’ve raised almost $24,000 on a GoFundMe account. Timalsina said folks at WSU helped her mom get an expedited visa to get to Utah.

“This act of coming together for Shrestha is an example of how the community can come together during our worst fears,” he said.

He said his community would do the same for any one of its members.

“It’s really special knowing that you’re not alone.”

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Accused in serial hit-and-run case in court, Utah Nepalese rally around most recent victim