Teen driver arrested in fatal Orlando hit-and-run

Florida Highway Patrol finds red Nissan Pathfinder

Bruce Kuiper.
Bruce Kuiper.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 17-year-old teen was arrested Friday in a fatal hit-and-run in which a man was struck in Orlando while seeking help with his disabled car, troopers said.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the teen, whose name has not been released, was driving a red Nissan Pathfinder that struck and killed Bruce Kuiper, 58, of Orlando.  The crash was reported around 10:35 p.m. Wednesday on Lake Underhill Road at Deerwood Avenue near State Road 417.

A 16-year-old boy was a passenger in the Pathfinder, troopers said.  The teens contacted FHP separately with their respective lawyers to cooperate with the investigation, authorities said.  The driver was arrested and taken to juvenile detention.

The FHP said a Nissan Murano carrying Kuiper and his 50-year-old wife stalled at the intersection, and the driver of a car behind them got out to help.

Kuiper's wife said they were returning from Lowe's when their car stalled and her husband got out to talk to the other driver. 

The FHP said a Pathfinder carrying two people then struck their car, which crashed into Kuiper.  The Pathfinder was located 5 miles from the crash site, but the relationship between the vehicle owner and the teen driver is not known, the FHP said.

The SUV, which troopers said had noticeable damage to its back left side and was consistent with the damage reported at the scene, was taken to FHP headquarters for processing.

Investigators said it appears that the driver of the Pathfinder drove past the cars before backing up and plowing into the car and Kuiper.

"I just kept telling him to stay strong, stay strong, and we prayed," his wife told Local 6.

Kuiper was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Kuiper's wife said she was calling her insurance company and arranging for a tow truck when her husband was struck.

Kuiper's wife said she and her husband were married in November 2014 and they had been together for more than a decade.

Nissan Pathfinder.
Nissan Pathfinder.

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