Tyler K. Burdhimo of Oakland Park, Florida was arrested after he allegedly struck and killed Maria Konstantinidis in a hit-and-run car accident, according to news reports. Burdhimo, 18, has been charged with driving without a valid driver’s license and leaving the scene of a crash involving a fatality, sources indicate. He was reportedly booked into Broward County Jail on the charges, where he was granted $17,500 bail bond. If he posts the bond, sources indicate that he will have to don a GPS locator before he is freed. It is not clear whether Burdhimo has retained a private criminal defense lawyer to help him with the charges.
News sources indicate that Burdhimo has been accused of being involved in a crash that occurred on Tuesday morning in the 1500 block of Northeast 45th Street. In a public announcement, a Broward County Sheriff’s office spokesperson reportedly stated that Konstantinidis, 75, had been walking along the street near the intersection of 15th Terrace and North East 45th Street just after sunrise when she was struck by a four-door Nissan Ultima. Investigators purportedly noted that the lack of skid marks in the area indicated that the driver had not stopped after the accident occurred.
Konstantinidis was reportedly found in the street wearing clothes that suggested she was exercising at the time of the crash. Police found a “Nissan” emblem on the ground near her, according to sources. Konstantinidis was transported to Broward General Medical Center for medical treatment, but she died a few hours later of injuries sustained in the accident, reports indicate.
Authorities reportedly connected the collision with Burdhimo after someone called in an anonymous tip indicating that a vehicle matching the description of the hit-and-run car was parked at a home approximately two blocks away from where the accident occurred. Police investigated the claim, which led them to a damaged 2007 Nissan Altima located at the 4300 block of Northeast 15th Terrace. Deputies evidently notice that the damage to the Nissan was consistent with damage from hitting a pedestrian and that the car was missing its’ front grill emblem.
The car’s owner, 21-year-old David Harris, reportedly told investigators that Burdhimo, a friend of his, had borrowed the car that morning. He also purportedly stated that Burdhimo had reported hitting something, although he did not say what he had struck. “[Burdhimo], as far as I know, called him up and said, ‘Oh, I hit something, you’re window’s damaged,” Harris’ father reportedly told the press following the arrest.
During his initial hearing, Burdhimo, one of several area residents recently arrested for hit-and-run accidents, evidently explained to the judge that he had thought that the vehicle had struck a dog. He admitted that he had not stopped the vehicle to find out for sure what he has struck. The judge reportedly discounted Burdhimo’s claim, saying that “even somebody who hit a dog would have gotten out of the car.”
Floranada Road, the stretch of Northeast 45th Street where the accident occurred, is known to be extremely dangerous, according to area residents. One man who lives near the stretch referred to the area as a “death trap.” It is not clear whether speed limits, curves, bad surfacing, speeding, or other factors make the stretch so prone to collisions.