Troopers told Historic City News that 16-year-old Zander Laurin of Ponte Vedra Beach was jogging in the southbound bicycle lane of SR-A1A near Mickler’s Landing at 5:55 a.m. when he was hit by a 2012 Toyota Tundra that drifted out of its lane; striking Laurin from behind.
The Toyota, driven by 53-year-old Keith Jones of Jacksonville Beach, struck Laurin from behind.
Laurin was stabilized for transport by St Johns County Emergency Medical personnel then airlifted in critical condition to UF Health Jacksonville. According to an update from the Florida Highway Patrol, Laurin died from his injuries at 9:31 p.m.
In an interview with independent Jacksonville television station WJXT, Laurin’s mother stated that her son was an organ donor and that those wishes were honored.
Laurin was a sophomore at Ponte Vedra High School, where members of a crisis team were on campus to support other students and staff on Wednesday.
Evidence of the crash could be seen on the sidewalk near Gnarled Oaks Drive outside The Grove neighborhood in Ponte Vedra Beach. Laurin’s mother believes Zander was running on the sidewalk, not in the bike lane. She told local reporters that he was jogging in preparation to pass the Navy entry physical readiness test. He was a petty officer in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps and recently completed tough field operation training in Iowa.
According to the crash report, Jones remained at the scene and was very cooperative with the investigation. Jones was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. Troopers on the scene determined that alcohol was not a factor in the traffic homicide. No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is continuing.