Man tells cops he may be hit-and-run driver in fatal crash. He thought he hit a deer

Mark Young

A Palmetto man has come forward to tell authorities he may have been the one involved in the fatal hit-and-run that killed a 13-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man walking along U.S. 19 early Sunday.

The Florida Highway Patrol is in possession of the man’s vehicle, which authorities say matches the description of a white Chevy Silverado seen leaving the scene after the victims were hit just south of 49th Street East about 2:30 a.m..

The man called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office after seeing the story on the news and believes he may have been the one involved. He told authorities the reason he did not stop is because he thought he hit a deer, according to the sheriff’s office.

The crash killed Tyler Shane Pittard, 13. FHP released the name of the 47-year-old man killed early Monday. He is Donald Charles Keefer of Palmetto. A 40-year-woman was critically hurt in the crash.

The initial crash report stated the driver, for unknown reasons, drove off the roadway when the collision occurred. The three victims had been night fishing when they tried to cross U.S. 19 to go to a nearby store.

As of early Monday, there have been no charges filed as the investigation continues.