Hit-and-run victim remembered 1 year later

Published On: Apr 13 2012 04:25:42 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 13 2012 05:40:34 PM EDT

Bryan Wrigley


Bryan Wrigley's mother and twin brother tried to comfort one another Friday -- a year after Wrigley died in a hit-and-run crash while riding a bicycle -- but their hearts still ache.

"Sometimes it's just like he's away at school, and then other times when I visit his grave site or get to thinking about it, it's back and forth," said Kevin Wrigley, Bryan's twin.

Bryan, a 23-year-old University of St. Augustine student, was following his dream of helping children through physical therapy.

"He was always smiling. His eyes would twinkle," his mother, Mandy Wrigley, said.

She knows her son is still with them in spirit.

"I saw a rainbow yesterday over the ocean, so that was his," Mandy said. "If you asked him what he was up to or what he was doing, he'd say, 'Well, I've been somewhere over the rainbow.' And a rainbow appeared last year when this happened."

On April 13, 2011, Bryan was cycling on County Road 214 near Molasses Junction when detectives said someone in a metallic blue Ford Ranger crossed the yellow line and hit him head-on.

Bryan landed in a ditch and on the side of the road.

Deputies said the driver of the pickup kept going.

Witnesses comprised a composite sketch of the driver that is posted on billboards along Interstate 95 in St. Johns County.

It's led to quite a few tips but no answers, which is especially frustrating for Bryan's twin, Kevin, who's a deputy in South Carolina.

"The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has been more than helpful and more than kind, and it's hard for me because I end up not being the deputy, I end up being the brother."

Bryan will be honored this weekend in the Wrigley Ride, part of Velo Fest, an effort to raise cycling awareness.

"We don't really have the funds right now to build a secondary road for cycling, so we need to share what we already have in place," said Heather Neville, Velo Fest president and founder. "There are just so many benefits to the community and to you personally when you cycle."

Neville's brother was severely injured and her uncle killed, both in cycling hit-and-run crashes in Jacksonville. After Bryan's hit-and-run death, she decided to form Velo Fest.

The Wrigleys are hoping it helps.

"I don't want this to happen to another mother," Mandy said. "This doesn't need to happen to another brother or sister. Please, just, people be careful."

"We miss him," Kevin said. "Hopefully this won't be in vain. Hopefully a lot of people will learn something from it."

If you have any information about Bryan Wrigley's crash, call St. Johns County Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.


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