No shortage of hit-and-runs in NE Fla.
13 unsolved cases resulting in death, life-threatening injuries in last year
It's been nearly two years since Mandy Wrigley lost her son, Bryan Wrigley, when he was hit riding his bicycle in St. Johns County. Whoever hit him didn't stop and to this day hasn't been caught.
"The second year is terrible and we just want to bring justice for Bryan, and Bryan deserves justice," Mandy Wrigley said in a phone interview. "And the Good Book says you have to forgive. Well, I want this person to come to me and ask me for forgiveness. And I want to hope that I'm a big enough person that I can give forgiveness, but this person needs to own up that they have killed a person, they have killed a young man that had a great future."
Bryan Wrigley (pictured, below) is just one of several people killed in hit-and-runs in northeast Florida in recent years, and his case is also one of many that remain unsolved. In fact, according to Channel 4 records, there were 13 unsolved cases that ended in death or life-threatening injuries in just the last year.
Below is a list of those cases:
- 46-year-old killed on Westside
- 49-year-old killed in St. Augustine
- 24-year-old killed in Palm Coast
- 54-year-old killed on Northside
- 17-year-old critically hurt in Palm Coast
- 52-year-old killed in St. John's County
- 52-year-old killed in Live Oak
- 48-year-old killed in Mandarin
- 74-year-old killed on Westside
- Man of unknown age critically injured on Westside
- 53-year-old killed on Matthews Bridge
- 54-year-old killed in Arlington
- 47-year-old critically injured in Northwest Jacksonville
The cases are being investigated in many different cities, but by several agencies, such as the Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP Capt. Keith Gaston said that in his area, there are not a lot of unsolved hit-and-runs, relatively speaking. He said there are only a few left outstanding from the Jacksonville office, and he said there's good evidence in each case, making him confident arrests will be made.
"But when the person just opts to leave the scene and not take responsibility for that, we take it very personal," Gaston said. "We've got a couple of investigators that I describe as bulldogs."
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The list of unsolved cases, however, compiles cases from half a dozen different local agencies.
"It can be months, sometimes it can be years," Gaston said of solving hit-and-runs.
Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson says the cases aren't easy, and detectives must work extra hard to solve them. That's why they need the public to work as an extra set of eyes and ears and report what they see.
"A key element to a hit-and-run is a third party that actually witnessed it, No. 1," Jefferson said. "No. 2, physical evidence that could be a result of the crash from the other vehicle left at the scene that investigators can collect."
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