Man charged in 2019 fatal hit-and-run

Man charged in 2019 fatal hit-and-run
Zachary Nelson (Source: WWSB)

PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - A Manatee County man has been charged in connection with a 2019 double-fatal hit-and-run.

The crash happened in August 2019. 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.

Zachary Nelson of Palmetto eventually called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, telling them that he did not stop because he thought he had hit a deer. He turned himself in to authorities but was not initially charged with a crime.

On June 10, 2020, investigators charged Nelson with two counts of failure to stop at a fatal crash, one count of failure to stop at crash involving serious injuries and evidence destroying.

According to an arrest citation, surveillance video showed Nelson’s truck headed toward the scene with a ladder rack attached to the bed of the man’s truck . When law enforcement arrived to speak with Nelson, the ladder was missing.

Nelson was booked into the Manatee County Detention Center.

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