Police charge Prospect man in connection with fatal hit-and-run

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Michael Rodriguez

BETHANY — State police Tuesday charged a Prospect man in connection with a 2018 hit-and-run accident that killed a 25-year-old pedestrian.

Michael Rodriguez, 26, surrendered to police and was charged with evading responsibility resulting in death.

The victim, Tony Pires Goncalves of Derby, was found dead on the shoulder of Route 63 in Bethany on the morning of Nov. 4, 2018.

State police said broken parts of a vehicle were found at the scene, which police later determined had come from a 1997 to 2001 Jeep Cherokee.

Rodriguez voluntarily met with state police the evening of Nov. 4, 2018, and told them he was coming from a The Hops Company in Derby and hit a deer at about 12:30 a.m. in the same area as where Goncalves was found, according to an affidavit. He told police he didn’t stop because the Jeep Cherokee he was driving was not registered or insured.

State police went to Rodriguez’s home at 8 Birchwood Terrace in Prospect. State police said they found  the SUV had damage consistent with the hit-and-run and Goncalves’ DNA, including hair, was found on the vehicle.

Rodriguez was released after posting a $25,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in New Haven Superior Court on June 1.

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