The bizarre events that ended 38-year-old Elias Konwufine’s life began to unfold last Wednesday when an argument with a tow truck company driver escalated, leaving him fatally injured. Konwufine had returned to his condo on Northwest 67th Way only to find both of the parking spaces designated for his unit were occupied by his wife and therapist working with his 7 year-old autistic son, the Miami Herald reported.
Since no street parking is allowed, Konwufine was forced to park in his yard causing his car to jut out over the sidewalk which his condo association considers a towable offense. As a tow truck driver was hooking up his car, a neighbor came out to warn him. Konwufine quickly went outside to keep his car from being towed.
Once outside a series of disputed events began to unfold leading to Konwufine’s death and accusations that local police failed to investigate the incident properly.
The driver for Capital Tow, who has only been identified as Ken, told two television stations, WTVJ- Channel 6, that Konwufine jump on the running board of his tow truck and beat on the back window of the truck as reported by the Sun Sentinel. The tow truck driver told the stations he slowed the truck and saw Konwufine jump of the back of the truck. The driver then said, felt a “bump, not knowing he had fallen off the truck,” and was run over by his own car.
According to Konwufine’s wife, Francisca, the tow truck driver made a hasty retreat with family’s vehicle on board and ran over her husband. Mrs. Konwufine said her husband was face down on the sidewalk with blood running out of his face, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The tow truck driver alleges that Mrs. Konwufine and her son were hitting his back and head. But eyewitnesses have contradicted his account.
Police and an ambulance were called to the scene, but police left after they assumed Konwufine’s injuries were not serious. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center where two hours later he was pronounced dead.
Lauderhill police did not return to the scene until they learned Konwufine had died, leading to allegations that they botched an investigation into what is now a wrongful death. Police have not charged the driver and stated an investigation is still pending. Their failure to thoroughly investigate the accident scene has outraged Konwufine’s family and neighbors who said the tow truck drivers are vultures looking to make a quick buck.
Mrs. Konwufine has hired a local attorney, Dean Freeman. According to Mr. Freeman the tow truck is still in service and now the accident scene is contaminated, the Sun Sentinel reported. The case could be handed over to the State Attorney for possible prosecution.
Professor Konwufine’s death was a great loss for his family, the students who admired him and Keiser University.