Victim's Mom Wants Driver Off Road
Updated On: May 20 2011 06:53:31 AM EDT
As St. Johns County investigators continue to search for the driver whose pickup truck struck and killed a college student riding a bicycle last month, the victim's mother speaks out, urging that driver to come forward.
"He was always smiling," Mandy Wrigley said while clutching a picture of her son, Bryan. "He was very happy. He was very focused. He knew what he wanted to do with life, and he had a full life ahead of him."
Wrigley is speaking out because no one has been held accountable for Bryan's death.
"I just beg the people to come forward; turn this person in," Wrigley told Channel 4 on Friday. "They need help, obviously, for leaving someone on the side of the road, and they just need to be off the street."
An avid bicyclist, the 23-year-old was riding along County Road 214 on April 13 when he was hit by a blue Ford Ranger pickup truck.
Deputies said Wrigley was hit so hard, he was thrown 200 feet into the ditch.
This mother's determination is echoed among deputies in St Johns County, who spent Thursday night at Channel 4 taking calls about possible tips from viewers. Deputies said they got several useful tips that they are investigating.
Accident investigators recovered the front driver's side bumper of the truck that hit Wrigley.
In an effort to generate new leads, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office shared with Channel 4 a key piece of evidence and revealed new details of the incident.
"This is how Ford was able to tell me I was looking for a Ford Ranger," St. Johns County Detective J.D. McGinnis said. "They say the part number for this fog lamp was unique, only used in 2001-2003."
The bumper also gave them other specifics about the vehicle they were looking for: It's dark metallic blue and has an extended cab. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, there are 65 of them registered in St. Johns County.
The bumper yielded one other piece of evidence: a fingerprint.
McGinnis told Channel 4's Jennifer Waugh there is no doubt in his mind that whoever hit and killed Bryan Wrigley knew he did it. Because the bicycle was on the opposite side of the road -- riding with traffic, according to St. Johns County deputies -- the driver had to cross into the oncoming lane in order to hit him.
McGinnis said the driver never even slowed down before hitting the bicycle.
Two witnesses described the driver as a young man, late teens or early 20s. They said a driver of a blue Ford truck who looked scared ran a stop sign not far from where Bryan Wrigley was hit.
"His mother does not have answers," McGinnis said. "She just wants answers, and that's what I want to be able to giver her: answers."
Bryan Wrigley was a student at the University of St. Augustine working on his doctorate in physical therapy.
Mandy Wrigley wants justice for her son and also to never see another family go through the pain she is feeling.
"They need to look me in the face and see what they have done to me as a mother," Wrigley said, then addressed the driver directly. "Just please come forward. Don't do this to anybody else."
Anyone who knows someone who owns a dark blue or repainted 2001-2003 Ford Ranger with a missing or recently replace bumper is asked to call the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at 904-824-8304 or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS (8477).
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