Teen Driver Facing Murder Charges For Nanticoke Death

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NANTICOKE -- A 16-year-old boy has been charged with third degree murder, homicide by vehicle and more.  Police say he hit and killed a pedestrian in July.

Police say that the teen from Luzerne County did not have a license or a permit when he hit and killed a man walking home after celebrating the Fourth of July with neighbors.

There was no apology from Tyler Duda when he was arraigned in Nanticoke. Instead of starting a new chapter in high school the teen is behind bars, charged as an adult with third degree murder and homicide by vehicle.

A family member tried using a sweatshirt to block Tyler Duda's face from cameras as police led the 16 year old from Kingston Township to be arraigned on charges of third degree murder, and homicide by vehicle.

Nanticoke police say Duda stole the keys to his mother's SUV on the Fourth of July and was driving through Nanticoke early the next morning with a friend when he hit and killed Nickolas Zurilla who was crossing West Union Street on his way home.

That SUV then slammed into a parked car before finally stopping on another neighbor's lawn.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis calls Duda a threat to the safety of the community and asked the magistrate to set his bail at $1 million.

"The recklessness and gross negligence behind the actions of Mr. Duda, traveling 72 miles an hour in a 25 mile an hour zone," Salavantis said.

Police say Duda never hit the brakes, even after he hit Zurilla.

Neighbors have since left flowers outside the house where Zurilla celebrated Independence Day with neighbors. There's a cross in the driveway across the street.  Police say Zurilla was hit and killed just steps away from his own home.

"We have an obligation out there to do what's right and that's what we're doing. Slow down," said Nanticoke Police Chief William Schultz.

Authorities tell us that Duda's 16-year-old passenger is cooperating. That teenager will not be charged.