Woman in critical condition after hit-and-run crash near UCF, officials say

Troopers say suspected vehicle is red with left front-end damage

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman is in the hospital after a Saturday night hit-and-run crash, according to officials from the Florida Highway Patrol. Troopers are searching for a red passenger vehicle that may have left front-end damage in connection to the incident.

Troopers said Katie Nakonechny, 21, who graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in legal studies, was crossing from the west side of Alafaya Trail to the east side at Strategy Boulevard around 12:48 a.m. The east side of the road at that intersection is adjacent to the University of Central Florida's campus.  

Nakonechny was crossing within the crosswalk but against the traffic light when the vehicle struck her, according to the crash report. The report states that the vehicle had a green light.

The vehicle then fled the scene without stopping, troopers said. Part of the vehicle's driver's-side mirror was left at the scene, and there is other damage to the driver's side of the car. 

As of Sunday, Nakonechny was in critical condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Troopers said Monday that a potential suspect vehicle was located.

"Due to an ongoing, pending criminal investigation, no other details about the vehicle, are being released," the FHP said in an email.

Several UCF students said they want to see more changes to keep pedestrians safe.

"It’s hard to see who has the right of way. Like, if I’m trying to cross the street right here, like, do I have the right of way or do they have the right of way?" UCF student Chris Cooper said.

Saturday's crash is just 2 miles from where a driver struck Cody Loechner, 13, as he was riding his bike nearby on Sept. 22. Troopers released video surveillance days later hoping to track down that driver.

News 6 learned there was a pedestrian safety study done by Orange County, initiated in August 2014, with the intent to address pedestrian safety on and near UCF’s campus.

Authorities are asking anyone with any information about the crash to call the FHP at 407-737-2213 or Crimeline at 800-423-8477. Charges against the driver are pending.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.