A 23-year-old graduate student and cycling enthusiast was killed earlier this month when his bicycle was struck by a car in a mid-afternoon hit and run in St. Augustine.

Traffic homicide investigators say that Bryan Wrigley, a physical therapy student at St. Augustine University, was riding his bike on County Road 214 in St. Johns County earlier this month when he was struck by a blue Ford pickup truck and left for dead by the driver who sped away. Wrigley’s body was later found in a nearby ditch by a passing motorist who noticed debris in the road.

“Deputies said evidence at the scene suggests that [Wrigley] was riding a bicycle west when he was hit by a westbound vehicle,” Jacksonville’s News 4 reports. “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.’”

The pickup was driven by a white man, possibly in his 20s, last seen traveling west on Road 214.

630 bicycle riders nationwide were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2009 – the lowest number in six years – according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 107 Florida bicycle deaths were the most in the country. Almost three-fourths (72%) of nationwide bike fatalities occurred during the daytime between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The NHTSA advises drivers to “allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road, look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals.” Additionally bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day and utilize lights and reflectors on both the front and rear of the bike at night.

If you or a loved one was recently injured in a bicycle or car accident, contact the Florida personal injury lawyers at Anidjar & Levine for a free initial consultation. Our experienced and diligent attorneys can help you to assess your case after an accident.

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