ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – It’s been a year and a half since National Guard Captain and doctor was hit and killed while riding his bicycle in St. Johns County and his loved ones say they haven’t gotten any justice.
They’re upset the driver who hit him was cited with a traffic violation and did not face criminal charges.
Captain Troy Manz, MD, from Missouri, was taking part in the Sea To Sea Adventure Race, riding his bicycle from the gulf coast of Florida to the Atlantic coast. He left St. Pete Beach and almost made it to his destination — St. Augustine Beach.
“He just had a love for life, a love for people and was an excellent doctor to his patients,” his fiancée Trish Wilkinson told News4JAX.
A former Marine, turned father, turned Missouri National Guard captain and emergency flight doctor, the 46-year-old fit in adventure trips in his free time. He was with Wilkinson and a friend on the 72-hour bicycle race in February 2021.
“We were in the last 20-mile stretch of the race and we were hit by a car going approximately 70 miles an hour,” Wilkinson recalled.
The crash sent Wilkinson and the couple’s friend Barbara Gilmore to the hospital with serious injuries. Manz died at the scene.
“It was shocking, physically I had a lot of injuries to recover from,” Wilkinson said. “And mentally the loss of someone unexpectedly, tragically, we were supposed to be getting married that February but we decided to postpone it because of COVID and we did the adventure race instead.”
Wilkinson and Gilmore came back to Florida last week testifying in a traffic case against the driver, Jonathan Quick.
State troopers determined his 2011 Mustang hit the bicyclists from behind at 2:36 a.m. on US1 in southern St. Johns County. The conditions were clear. Investigators noted he stayed at the scene and called 911 and didn’t show signs of impairment. According to a Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide report obtained by the News4JAX I-TEAM, he told investigators he was at a friend’s house after work and hadn’t been drinking. A blood alcohol test, taken two hours and 20 minutes later showed trace amounts of alcohol, with a BAC of 0.014, well below the legal limit.
Wilkinson takes issue with the time period that passed from the crash to the toxicology test at the hospital.
“As bikers, we took every precaution we did everything safely,” she noted.
Wilkinson said she and the other two cyclists had helmets, reflective gear, lights on the front and back of their bikes, which the FHP report confirms. State troopers found the cyclists followed the law and cited the driver, Quick, for 3 counts of careless driving and failure to give the right of way. In court last week, for the traffic offenses, a judge found Quick guilty of failing to give the right of way and dropped careless driving charges.
The consequences: 12 hours of driver improvement school and $1,166 in fines.
Quick has a history of driving infractions, and an arrest for fleeing and eluding police in Flagler County, which he pleaded no contest to. He did not appear in court for the hearing. His attorney, Jessica Damoth, represented him. When reached by phone, Damoth said she and her client had no comment about the case.
“I’m very concerned that this is going to happen to someone else and nothing that happened in the court system will keep keys out of his hand or will be any sort of repercussion,” Wilkinson commented.
Wilkinson said she doesn’t feel justice, but she’s going to work to cut down on dangerous and distracting driving, to help other people on the road.