ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A 16-year-old has passed away after being struck by a pickup truck on A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP tells us the teen was critically hurt while jogging and was airlifted to UF Health.
Pam Riley jogs along A1A at least four times a week and says it's not only a busy area for joggers and dog walkers, but speeders, too.
A few years ago the speed limit dropped from 55 mph to 45 mph, but she said it hasn't stopped people from going too fast.
“There’s some beach access gates and people are walking across the street too with families and it's always been an issue,” said Riley.
Troopers tell us 16-year-old Zander Laurin was jogging along A1A near the intersection of Gnarled Oaks Drive when he was struck by a pickup truck.
Police tell us the pickup truck was going south on A1A when, for some unknown reason, it drifted into the bike lane and hit the Laurin from behind.
Richard Sears lives in the Grove neighborhood and he says he's not surprised to hear there was a crash.
“It’s people trying to get to the beach or whatever to the access or whatever further up the road . I don't know if they're not paying attention because the cell phones or whatever,” he said.
Riley says it's worse for pedestrians near the intersection of Mickler Road and A1A, 200 yards from where the crash happened.
“Well you assume we have the right away but, I never assume that, especially at Mickler, I always wait for cars or wait for them to make eye contact and flag me because it is a little scary,” she said.
The principal of Ponte Vedra High School, where Zander was a student, sent the following statement to parents and students:
"We are deeply saddened today by news of the loss of Zander Laurin who was a sophmore here at Ponte Vedra High School.
"We encourage you to share this sad news with your teen, even if they did not know Zander. If your student knew him, please keep in mind that for young people the loss of a peer with whom they have regular contact may be a traumatic experience. If you need resources about how to talk with your teen about death, there are resources available on our website at https://www-pvhs.stjohns.k12.fl.us/under the guidance tab. With that in mind, grief counselors have been available and will continue to support students in need of help.
"The PVHS family extends our heartfelt sympathies to Zander's family and friends during this most difficult time."
Cox Media Group