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West Palm Beach man faces felony charges in fatal hit-and-run of driver awaiting tow truck

Walter Diego Velazquez fled scene, FHP says
Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-31 19:14:27-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A 26-year-old West Palm Beach man is facing felony charges in the fatal hit-and-run crash of a man waiting for a tow truck in the city on Saturday morning.

Walter Diego Velazquez made his first court appearance Sunday morning and Judge Kathleen Kroll set bond at $30,000 on charges of killing a person with a vehicle, leaving the scene of a deadly accident and driving without a license. His next court date is 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 28.

On Monday, Florida Highway Patrol released the arrest report.

He was arrested Saturday morning, about 5 1/2 hours after the crash.

At 2:59 a.m., crews reported to a crash on Interstate 95 northbound, 0.8 miles north of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.

An unnamed 66-year-old man from Davie was standing on the outside paved shoulder of I-95 attending to his disabled vehicle, an Infinit SUV A tow truck driver said he was stopped behind the SUV.

A 2008 Honda Civic driven by Velazquez was approaching the pedestrian. The front of the vehicle hit the victim and came to a rest against a tree. The victim went onto the outside grass of northbound I-95.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue declared the man dead.

The suspect fled the scene on foot and investigators found the Honda a few feet from the tree with damage consistent with the collision, FHP said.

A trooper went to the suspect's residence and Velazquez confirmed he was driving the vehicle. He also had injuries consistent with being pressed with a seatbelt during a crash.

The suspect said his phone was dead and he was unable to call for help.