The parents of Irish student Aoife O'Connell are traveling to the Netherlands to return her body home after the 21-year-old was killed in a hit and run. 

Friends and family have paid tribute to the 21-year-old Irish student who was killed in a hit and run in the Netherlands last weekend.

Aoife O'Connell was found on a road in Utrecht by a passer-by in the early hours of Saturday morning but died before an ambulance could arrive. Dutch police have confirmed that the driver who hit her initially fled the scene but later presented himself at a local police station. 

O'Connell was a student at University College Cork but had been studying in Utrecht on an Erasmus year.  

"UCC wishes to extend its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Aoife O’Connell, who sadly passed away in the Netherlands at the weekend," said a spokesperson from UCC. 

"UCC is providing support to Aoife's family and friends at this difficult time." 

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Aoife O'Connell.

Aoife O'Connell.

It is believed that her parents John and Deirdre have traveled to the Netherlands to bring home their daughter's body. 

 "My thoughts and prayers go out to them, it's an awful thing to happen. Everyone in the area is just in shock," said local Fine Gael councilor Des Cahill. 

"I feel very sad about what happened to her. Aoife was a kind, happy and really funny person," classmate Amelie Brun said of the Cork native. 

"She was always positive and brought joy for everyone around her. We had so much fun in Utrecht together.

"I will always be grateful for having the chance to meet her.  I can’t imagine the pain of her sister and her parents and all my thoughts are going with them.

"This is so unfair."

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Aoife O'Connell.