Crash victim's mom puts up billboards for help

Published On: Oct 31 2011 02:18:44 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 31 2011 05:12:00 PM EDT

Bryan Wrigley's family says their billboards are helping the hunt for the suspect in the fatal hit and run that killed their son.


The mother of a bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run crash in St. Augustine last April put up billboards right after Christmas seeking help in finding the driver involved, and deputies said Thursday the move is paying off.

They said they have received several tips from the public about the investigation into the crash that killed 23-year-old Bryan Wrigley. Two tips came Thursday morning.

Wrigley died after deputies said a hit-and-run driver struck him head-on while he was riding his bike on County Road 214. His body was found in a ditch on the side of the road.

Mandy Wrigley, Bryan's mother, said she's confident that somebody knows something about her son's death. She's hoping the billboards will lead to a tip that will solve the case.

Seven months from now, Bryan Wrigley would have graduated from the University of St. Augustine and followed his dream of helping children through physical therapy.

"If you've never lost a child, then you don't know the pain that I am going through and the sleepless nights wondering why this person didn't stop," Mandy Wrigley said in a phone interview.

She said every day brings more frustration and pain for her family.

"Christmas and the holidays were terrible around our house," Wrigley said. "I cannot tell you how bad they were. It was just terrible. It was just tears all through December."

Wrigley decided to put up three billboards on Interstate 95 near Exit 311 in St. Augustine.

The billboards show a composite sketch of the driver from witness accounts and a picture of the pickup truck detectives believe was involved in the crash -- a dark blue Ford Ranger.

Clear Channel, which operates the billboards, is not charging Wrigley a monthly fee and said she could keep the billboards up until a paying customer needs them. Wrigley just had to pay for the materials.

"When it's your child, money's no option," she said.

The billboards have helped lead to more tips, but they still haven't solved the case. And Wrigley said she's not going to rest until that happens.

"It's only going to get worse when we find them," she said. "And we are going to find him because I'm not going to give up. As long as I'm drawing a breath, I'm going to look for you."

The Wrigleys are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. They're also helping host fundraisers.

April 14 is the Wrigley Ride to promote cycling awareness, and part of the proceeds will go toward Bryan Wrigley's scholarship foundation, helping someone who wants to go into the medical field.

Investigators say the driver who hit Wrigley is in his late teens or early 20s. He was driving a metallic blue Ford Ranger extended cab pickup truck made between 2001 and 2003. The truck had fog lights molded into the front bumper.

If you have any information that can help solve Wrigley's case, call Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS.


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