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13-year-old among two people killed in Palmetto hit-and-run, driver located


PALMETTO, Fla. — The driver involved in a hit-and-run that killed a 13-year-old boy and 47-year-old man has been located by Florida Highway Patrol troopers, they confirmed on Sunday.

Trooper says the suspect, Zachary Nelson, called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office saying he thought he hit a deer.

Deputies responded to his address and found a white Silverado in the driveway. It had damage consistent with hitting something and was not operational, they say.

Nelson is being questioned by troopers but, as of Sunday evening, he is not in custody. But authorities say he is an official suspect and is facing charges, including two counts of vehicular homicide.

According to a press release, the teenager, Tyler Pittard, was walking south in the grass along US 19 with an unidentified 47-year-old man and unidentified 40-year-old woman when they were hit.

Pittard and the man were both killed in the crash and the woman was taken to Blake Medical Center in critical condition, according to FHP.

It happened in Palmetto, just south of 49th Street East, around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Troopers say a white Chevy Silverado, around 2003-2007, was traveling south when the driver left the roadway for an unknown reason and hit the group, also traveling south.

The truck then continued south and did not stop, FHP says.

Pittard was a student at King Middle School in Bradenton. School officials say on Monday counselors will be on hand for students who may need them.

The crash weighed heavy on community members.

“We have a lot of people that walk across this road on the daily,” said Colten Green-Clay, who works nearby.



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