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Suspect in custody in Southern State hit-and-run crash, police say

Wilkens Thelusma, 37, of East Farmingdale, is being

Wilkens Thelusma, 37, of East Farmingdale, is being held on $50,000 bond or cash bail, charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident last week on the Southern State Parkway in Hempstead, State Police said. Credit: NYSP / NYSP

An East Farmingdale man has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident last week on the Southern State Parkway in Hempstead in which the driver and a dog were killed.

State Police said Wilkens Thelusma, 37, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with leaving the scene without reporting. At arraignment, his bail was set at $50,000 cash or bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Nassau County Court records show.

Police said debris left at the scene of the fatal hit-and-run led them to Thelusma.

Police said the victim, Rick Munoz, 28, of Pine Drive in Oyster Bay, got out of a stolen box truck after a crash just east of Exit 21 on Oct. 15 when he was hit by Thelusma's vehicle. Police said Munoz was likely struck by more than one vehicle.

Police said passenger Joel Padilla, 27, of Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, also got out of the truck after it crashed into the center guardrail about 1:45 a.m.

The investigation determined that Thelusma, driving a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, struck Munoz as he walked into the roadway, police said. Several additional vehicles then struck Munoz, police said. They also failed to stop.

A dog, which also got out of the truck, was found dead in the roadway several yards from the scene.

Padilla, who was not injured, was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Just before the crash, police had received reports of a box truck driving erratically, authorities said. After the crash, police determined the truck had been stolen in the Bronx.

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