Farmingdale Man Convicted of Fatal Hit-and-run

Wilkens Thelusma
Wilkens Thelusma, 39, of East Farmingdale.

A Farmingdale man was convicted last week of killing a 28-year-old pedestrian in a hit-and-run crash on the Southern State Parkway in South Hempstead 16 months ago.

After a two-week trial, a Nassau County jury deliberated for about 90 minutes on Friday before convicting Wilkens Thelusma, 38, of leaving the scene of a fatal collision, a felony. Thelusma is facing up to seven years in prison when he’s sentenced later this year.

“This driver was involved in fatal crash and simply left the pedestrian to die in the roadway,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Thelusma was driving a Hyundai Sante Fe eastbound when he struck Rick Munoz, 28, who had exited his box truck after crashing into the median and was walking along the roadway. Munoz was hit east of exit 20 at 2 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2015. After the crash, Thelusma left the scene, prosecutors said.

The crash caused significant damage to Thelusma’s vehicle, including a broken side-view mirror. New York State police were able to follow the debris from his Hyundai back to his house in Farmingdale, where they found the damaged vehicle, with the victim’s blood still on it, parked behind a fence in the driveway, prosecutors said.

Thelusma is scheduled to be sentenced on April 21.