PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - The Florida Highway Patrol reports a man has turned himself in after three pedestrians were struck in a hit-and-run collision in the early hours of Saturday morning, killing two pedestrians and leaving the third with critical condition at Blake Medical Center.
Around 2:30am on Saturday, the three pedestrians - 47-year-old Donald Keefer of Palmetto, 13-year-old Tyler Pittard of Palmetto, and 40-year-old Misty Zipperer of Palmetto - were walking in the grass on the west shoulder of U.S. 19, just south of 49th Street East, when they were hit by a white Chevy Silverado.
Keefer died at the scene. Pittard was rushed to Manatee Memorial Hospital, where he later died. Zipperer suffered critical injuries and was taken to Blake Medical Center.
The driver continued south on U.S. 19 without stopping.
Florida Highway Patrol tells ABC7 that Zachary Nelson of Palmetto called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, telling deputies that he may be the person they’re looking for. Deputies contacted troopers.
According to troopers, Nelson told them he thought he hit a deer. Florida Highway Patrol went to his home and found his truck, a white Chevy Silverado with damage on the front end. The vehicle was taken for evidence.
Troopers say Nelson is cooperating with the investigation and has not been taken into custody as of yet.
Charges are pending. He could be facing two counts of vehicular death, one count of serious bodily injury, and one count of leaving the scene.
The investigation is ongoing.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise funds for a proper memorial and celebration of life for Pittard. He was living with his grandmother. His mother had just recently passed away. Anyone who would like to donate should this GoFundMe page. This page is the only request for help from Pittard’s grandmother and any other pages that may found should be disregarded.