WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The vehicle believed to have been involved in a hit-and-run that killed a bicyclist last night has been located and brought in as evidence, according to New Hanover County Dispatch. Police say the car was abandoned near the corner of Marsh Hawk Court and Duck Hawk Court in Wilmington.
“Looking at the car, damage on the car, and the parts of it that are missing, it is very consistent with the vehicle that we were looking for last night that hit the bicyclist,” said Wilmington Police Department’s Sgt. Mike Donelson.
Neighbors noticed the vehicle matched the description of the white Toyotta Corolla police say hit and killed Tyler while he was riding his bike on Wrightsville Avenue near Lumina Station Thursday night.
When I spoke with Tyler’s mother earlier today, she was still in shock.
“I think I am still numb,” said Beverly Tyler.
Beverly Tyler lost her husband to a similar accident on the road when he was driving a motorcycle years ago. She says at this point, she can’t help but remember all the funny moments.
“The other ones when they were born screamed,” said Beverly. “And he just sort of came out and looked at us. My husband and my mother were in the room. He was like a grown-up in a little, tiny baby body sort of like, what do you want?”
Donelson says the next step will be finding out who the vehicle is registered to and contacting that person.
Police say around 10 p.m. Thursday a white 2011 to 2013 Toyota Corolla hit and killed Zachary Paul Tyler, 27, while he was riding his bike on Wrightsville Ave. near Lumina Station.
Today a memorial stands in his honor.
“I wanted people to see where this actually happened,” said Mary Klinge, who started the memorial. “If we can get the word out, they still haven’t found the person who actually hit him and the car is supposedly damaged. I wanted to get this started so when everyone drives by they can take a look and think.”
Klinge lives a block from the crash scene. She says she sees folks biking all the time and wants drivers to slow down.
“Wrightsville Beach is full of nothing but people on bicycles,” she said. “As we stand here, somebody is going to go by on a bicycle. Just slow down, everybody seems to be in a rush.”
Police are still searching for the person who killed Tyler.
Tyler’s mother, who was not ready to talk on camera Friday afternoon, left a comment on WWAY’s Facebook page earlier in the day.
“This was my son,” Beverly Tyler wrote. “Please whomever was driving the car come forward. We are a forgiving family and you need your family also.”
But the Tylers are not Zachary’s only family.
He worked at King Neptune restaurant in Wrightsville Beach for more than a year. Manager Earl McPherson, who also did not want to talk on camera, says Tyler was like family to everyone at the restaurant and rode his bike to work every day.
Anyone with any information about the car involved in the crash or the driver should call the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3600. Information also may be submitted anonymously through Text-A-Tip. Enter Tip708 and the information, and send to 274637 (CRIMES).