Detectives are searching for a blue Ford pickup truck believed to have struck and killed a college student riding a bicycle on County Road 214 in St. Johns County on Wednesday afternoon.
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office was called to the Molasses Junction area about 4 p.m. when a motorist who stopped to investigate debris in the road between Interstate 95 and County Road 13A found a man's body in the ditch.
Traffic homicide investigators said 23-year-old Bryan B. Wrigley, of West Columbia, S.C., died at the scene. Authorities said Wrigley was a student at the University of St. Augustine and was a member of a local bicycle riding club.
Students and faculty at the university gathered Thursday to remember Wrigley, who was seeking his doctorate in physical therapy. They lowered flags to half-staff in his honor and offered their sympathies to his twin brother, Kevin.
"Loved by many. He was good from day one," Kevin Wrigley said. "Had a pure soul, a pure heart, not a blemish on it."
"He was definitely one of the most genuine, caring people that any of us had ever met," said Jena Ellis, Bryan Wrigley's classmate. "Everyone in our class has a story of how he aided them or helped them or was there for them, and to see a life taken so early is hard. It's hard for everybody."
Stanley Paris, president of the University of St. Augustine, released this statement:
"The University of St. Augustine mourns the tragic and sudden loss of the life of Bryan Wrigley caused by a tragic cycling incident. Bryan was known to his classmates as an avid cyclist, and as one student said, "the nicest guy in the class." He was respected for the fact that he was one who was always ready to assist his classmates and that he was an extremely hard-working student in the doctor of physical therapy program. He will be missed by his fellow students, the faculty and staff, and of course, mourned by his family and the entire community. He is a loss to all, including the profession of physical therapy, which he would have served well."
Deputies said evidence at the scene suggests that Bryan Wrigley was riding a bicycle west when he was hit by a westbound vehicle.
A resident in the area reported seeing a dark blue older-model Ford Ranger extended cab pickup truck "leaving the area in a reckless manner."
An analysis of evidence at the scene indicated the paint was from 2001-2003 Ranger with a dark blue metallic factory paint job. Deputies said the suspect vehicle likely has significant front end-damage, including to a fog light. It is possible the vehicle was leaking fluids and may now be disabled.
Deputies said the pickup, driven by a white man, possibly in his 20s, was last seen going west on Road 214.
Anyone with information about the crash, the driver or suspect vehicle is asked to call the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at 904-824-8304 or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS (8477).