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Police seek witness in hit-and-run that killed UT student

Flowers sit near the scene of the hit-and-run that killed UT student Erik Nicoletti and critically injured Cree Riley in Tampa.

ATOYIA DEANS | Times

Flowers sit near the scene of the hit-and-run that killed UT student Erik Nicoletti and critically injured Cree Riley in Tampa.

TAMPA — Police are looking for a tow truck driver who may have witnessed the hit-and-run crash that killed a University of Tampa student early Saturday morning and critically injured a visiting student.

It happened at Kennedy Boulevard near N Boulevard at about 1:15 a.m., police said. Erik Nicoletti and Cree Riley were about to cross Kennedy when a beige Chrysler hit them and kept driving. Nicoletti was killed.

Andres Trujillo, 27, was charged with leaving the scene of a crash with death.

Witnesses told detectives they saw a small, black tow truck with yellow lettering on the side apparently chase the driver after he hit the students.

"We want to talk to any witnesses. Anytime someone sees a crime, it doesn't matter if it's one person or 10 people, we want to get all their statements," said Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. "You can never have too much evidence."

Trujillo told police he dropped a cigarette and reached down to pick it up just before hitting the students. He said he knew he hit something, but he thought it was a small vehicle or motorcycle and drove off in a panic.

Sheriff's deputies found his car abandoned in a ditch at N Dale Mabry Highway and Lambright Street. It had a broken, caved-in windshield and blood and hair on the front end, police said.

Trujillo turned himself in after pressure from his family members. He is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.

Anyone with information can call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477 or report anonymously online at crimestopperstb.com.

Police seek witness in hit-and-run that killed UT student 11/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:24pm]
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