Man charged in deadly hit-and-run crash goes before judge

Pinellas County
BYRD MUGSHOT_1537633540692.jpg.jpg

A man wanted for allegedly hitting and killing another man walking along I-275 then stealing the victim’s vehicle to leave the scene on Thursday has been arrested. 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Dhimitri Andoni was traveling north on I-275 near mile marker 23 in a 2015 Hyundai.

Andoni saw another driver who had lost control and rotated to final rest in the median of I-275.

Andoni stopped along the inside shoulder of the road to help the other unknown motorist, which was captured by a camera in his vehicle.

Shortly after stopping, the motorist was able to leave the scene and Andoni walked back to his car.

While walking back along the road’s edge, Andoni was hit by a passing vehicle.

The vehicle was identified as a 1996 Ford F-150 driven by Dana Byrd, 30.

Byrd stopped along the shoulder, approached Andoni and saw he was dead.

Byrd then stole Andoni’s vehicle and traveled to Engineer Sales, located at 2500 25th Avenue North in St. Petersburg and abandoned the vehicle.

Hours later, Andoni’s father found the abandoned vehicle via GPS tracking and contacted law enforcement about his missing son.

On Friday around 12:30 p.m., an FDOT road ranger located Byrd’s abandoned truck and discovered Andoni’s remains.

Byrd was found at his home on 51st Street North in St. Petersburg Friday night.

He was arrested for grand theft auto and leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

Investigators explained that a camera in Andoni’s car captured his encounter helping the initial stranded driver. Troopers are now requesting the operator of the vehicle that lost control in the median to contact them as soon as possible to retrieve additional information about the accident.

Byrd had his first appearance in front of a judge Saturday morning. His bond was set at $100,000.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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