Accused driver in deadly Hillsborough hit-and-run blames teenage victim

Nikolaos Konstantinou faces a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death

Nikolaos Konstantinou says 17-year old Ashley Perdomo ran into the path of his vehicle.

CLEARWATER, Fla (WFLA)  — The driver of a hit and run crash that killed a Hillsborough High School senior says the accident wasn’t his fault.

56-year old Nikolaos Konstantinou faces a single charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.  He was released from jail on Friday morning after posting $15,000 bond.

“It was unavoidable,” said Konstantinou as he walked out of the Pinellas County Jail.

“I mean, she ran into the path of my vehicle.  There was nothing I could do.  Do you know what I mean?  There was nothing you could do, nothing anybody else could’ve done.  She made the decision to run across a busy highway in the dark, no cross-section. That was the tragic consequences of her dying.”

The accident happened shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday night near the intersection of Hillsborough Avenue and Blue Springs Drive in Tampa.

The Florida Highway Patrol confirms 17-year old Ashley Perdomo was not crossing in a cross walk and was at fault in the accident.  Had Konstantinou stopped and rendered aid as required by law, he may not have faced any charges.

Troopers found his car in Clearwater on Thursday.  He was arrested at his home at 806 S. Prospect Avenue in Clearwater and taken to jail.

Konstantinou said he knew he had hit something, but didn’t know what it was.

“I was aware of something hitting the windshield afterward, I stopped and I couldn’t see because it was all dark so I went to a lighted area to see and saw all the damage,”  said Konstantinou. “Some people were there and said, ‘Call your insurance company, and that’s what I did.’ ”

Bryant Camareno is a legal expert and defense attorney not affiliated with this case.  He doesn’t believe Konstantinou’s explanation will hold water in a court of law.

“Legally, that’s not going to be a defense,” said Camareno.  “We all have an obligation if there’s any sort of accident, whether it’s car to car or car to human being, our obligation is to stop, pull over and render aid.”

Konstantinou did say he was sorry for what happened.

“I don’t know what I can say other than I apologize.  And, bring it from God to help them and help me, because right now he’s our savior, he’s the only one who can help us, help me, and help their family.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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