Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arrest made in fatal hit-and-run crash in Pinellas Park

Nicole Carlson, 26, of St. Petersburg, was taken into custody by investigators following a thorough investigation conducted in partnership with the community. 

At approximately 9:03 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2024, the Pinellas Park Police Department responded to the 4200 block of 62nd Ave N for reports of a male subject lying in the ditch line. 

Once emergency personnel arrived on the scene, the male subject was pronounced deceased. He was identified as 36-year-old Michael Vilaysack of St. Petersburg.

Pinellas Park Police Department searching for evidence as part of the investigation.

During the preliminary investigation, car debris was found near the body, and Vilaysack was found with injuries consistent with being struck by a vehicle. 

Investigators believed the suspect vehicle, which fled the scene, maybe a Gray Hyundai Accent manufactured between 2018 and 2022. Notably, the car is expected to display significant damage on its passenger side and should be missing the mirror.

The Pinellas Park Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit reported on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, that they made significant progress in the investigation into a hit-and-run incident that resulted in the tragic death of Michael Vilaysack.

The department has been diligently working to locate the vehicle and identify the driver who fled the scene of the crash. 

Investigators have pursued numerous leads. Their efforts have culminated in the successful location of the suspect vehicle. 

Vehicle photo courtesy of the Pinellas Park Police Department

On Friday, April 12, 2024, the Pinellas Park Police Department Traffic Homicide Investigation Unit successfully identified and arrested the individual responsible for the tragic hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of Michael Vilaysack on March 31, 2024.

Nicole Carlson, 26, of St. Petersburg, was taken into custody by investigators following a thorough investigation conducted in partnership with the community. 

Booking photo of Nicole Carlson

According to arrest documentation, Carlson drove a 2020 Hyundai Accent eastbound on 62nd Avenue N at approximately 1:04 a.m. She struck Vilaysack as he was walking eastbound on the shoulder of the roadway. Carlson was observed via video surveillance fleeing the scene and eventually to her apartment at 190 112th Avenue N. She took numerous photos and videos of the damage to her vehicle with her cell phone and texted them to a witness who came forward to law enforcement. The same witness also observed her entering the vehicle and departing the witness’s residence about 10 minutes before the crash. Vilaysack was not found for approximately 8 hours after the crash.

Nicole Carlson was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death as a result of the investigation. 

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