Gifted, Loved Student Philanthropist Mourned by Thousands in Virtual Memorial

18-Year-Old Devesh Samtani Was Victim of Heartless Hit and Run in Amagansett in August

NEW YORK, NY — (November 12, 2021) – The victim of a hit and run accident in the Hamptons three weeks ago was remembered in an in-person and virtual memorial service from NYC’s Riverside Memorial Chapel, that was attended by more than 3000 mourners.

Devesh Samtani, 18, of Hong Kong, died three days after the August 10, 2021 hit-and-run crash. He had been vacationing in the Hamptons with his family before he was to begin his studies in economics and mathematics at New York University.

Daniel Campbell, 19, of Montauk, driving his father’s SUV, hit Samtani, as he was waiting for an Uber according to police reports. Campbell, who was in the car with a multitude of partygoers, stopped briefly after the impact, where several passengers exited the vehicle. Then the defendant fled the scene and was later arrested.

By all accounts, Samtani was an excellent student and highly caring individual involved in community service. He recently wrote a book, Ash’s COVID-19 Birthday Bash, to help children get a better understanding of the COVID pandemic.

Samtani recently raised donations for Hong Kong charity, Mother’s Choice, dedicated to helping children without families and pregnant teenagers, by organizing the Hong Kong Debutante Ball.

Joe Alsop, head of the prestigious Kellett school in Hong Kong, said: “I am still in disbelief that such a tragic accident has happened and taken the life of a wonderful young man at such a young age. Devesh had done so well at Kellet and we were enormously proud that he had been accepted to study at NYU. (His) is such a loss to this world.”

“It is difficult for me to accept that you have left us so suddenly. My heart still refuses to believe this and I just cannot cope with the feeling of losing you. As your Mandarin tutor between the fourth and the eleventh grade, we had spent endless moments together, in learning Mandarin and in talking about dreams of your life. I held your hand and helped you write Chinese characters, stroke by stroke, word by word. Thank you for giving me so many good memories. I will keep them in my heart forever,” wrote Zhang Lao Shi for Samtani’s memorial.

Campbell was arrested at his home several hours after the crash, based on a description of his vehicle and license plates provided by witnesses, according to police. The funeral for Samtani, who sustained head trauma and died at Stony Brook University Hospital, took place on August 18.

The criminal complaint, sworn to by East Hampton Town Police Officer Bradley S. Hughes, quotes Campbell’s alleged “oral admission:”
“Yes I hit the guy he was in the road though I knew I should have stayed but I freaked out. … To be a hundred percent honest with you guys when I looked at the damage I thought I killed him,” Campbell said in the admission.

Samtani’s parents wrote on their son’s memorial: “Of all the special gifts in life, However great or small, To have had you as our son, Was the greatest gift of all. A special time, a special face, a special son, we can’t replace, With an aching heart (we) whisper to you, This is not the end, t’is until we meet again.”

They have established on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter the Legacy of Devesh and the #LegacyofDevesh campaign. For more information, visit

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