make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Vehicle believed involved in fatal hit-and-run found


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).

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Re-read my previous post and

Re-read my previous post and point out where I am supporting a hit and run driver. I just said that MAYBE the cyclist contributed to the accident if he did not have lights (required by law) on his bike. It is very possible the driver never saw him.

How dare you? This is a

How dare you? This is a family member of a friend of mine. I bet you wouldn't say that if it were YOUR family member

As always...missing the Point!

Why do so many people "MISS" the point some times when it comes to using common sense...about the Police patrol issues in Wilmington? Ya got me!
The point is (spelled out for you)...this driver fled the scene...did they not? Obviously the diver was:
1. Scared (that's a given)
2. Possibly their license/insurance revoked (driving against the law)
3. Under the influence (driving against the law)
Laying aside the fact they fled the scene...with more (get this now) Check Points by the Police...these violation drivers, so to speak, would be stopped...taken to jail...all the above. I guess you disagree also that more Police presence in the town will curtail some of these wreckless drivers as well.
It's always from the same commenters that the Police are too many...on their tail too much...and just giving out tickets to speeders. Well good...where ever that is in town, because I sure as Hell don't see it...unless it's after an accident has occurred...then BINGO...there they are! Guess that's a reason to believe Wilmington is upwards of the highest accident/death and injury rate by vehicle in NC.
"We must be responsible for our own safety" (Unquote). You are so right...the Police won't bother.
Class is over children...go home!

I agree. Wilmington is not

I agree. Wilmington is not a bike friendly town. I used to train for triathalons and have stopped because it is just way too dangerous out there for bikers. Every time I pass someone on a bike while driving my car and can't help to think how crazy they are! Riding your bike at night on a road like Wrightsville Avenue is an accident waiting to happen.

Not friendly for walkers

Not friendly for walkers either.....unless you get in your car & drive to a walking trail.....but to walk in your subdivision, you are taking a big risk. Drivers seem oblivious to bikers & walkers......

I agree

I agree, but have you ever noticed how many people on this site go crazy at the thought of check points? All of a sudden you have a bunch of armchair lawyers debating the legality of the police stopping people. You get a bunch of disgruntled people calling it a police state and saying it violates their civil liberties. Can't have it both ways.


I have to agree with you. Traffic issues are way out of hand. There is no enforcement by the Police Dept. and so people think they can get away with everything. I think it is time for a new police Chief that will get his people to enforce all the laws.

Really? Have you ever been

Really? Have you ever been to traffic court on Fridays? Between 500-1000 cases EVERY FRIDAY of just traffic violations! Problem in Wilmington is there are more crappy drivers than there are people to catch them.

Traffic Court

When I was a Deputy Sheriff I spend a good deal of time in the court room. Sorry, to say that is part of the punishment and if they need to they should hire more Judges.

The law is the law and each time someone speeds or runs a stop sign it could be your love one that they hit and kill.

Need a little Sharia justice

Someone who hits and kills another person with a vehicle then runs away should have their hands and feet chopped off.

Wow... Really? It the midst

Wow... Really? It the midst of a tragedy, not even 24 hours old, you're going to call for violence and Sharia Law. Like somehow that is going to help? Are you out of your mind? We have American Laws, that when enforced, are just fine for Americans. A little detective work, and this to will be solved and American Justice will prevail.

Lets really address the issue: bike riding around Wilmington is dangerous and always has been. I have lived here for 25 years and it's never been safe. I rode a bike until I was 28 and moved here. You wouldn't catch me commutting by bike.

So we need bike lanes. How expensive would that be and would Wilmingtonians be willing to add another tax?

I also agree with bikers own safety responsiblities. I see bikes on the wrong side of the rode, not following traffic patterns or signals. Not being lighted or having proper reflectors. When I was a kid, ions ago, we learned bike safety and pedisterian safety in school. If the schools can't do it, then the parents need to.

But to say we need Sharia Law to fix Americans problems, knee jerk reaction would be to suggest you go to the middle east and live where sharia law is embraced and practiced. Good Luck on that one.

Condolences to the family that lost a son. God Bless you and yours.

You are speaking of Sharia

You are speaking of Sharia justice that a Father stood by when he ran down his 18yr old daughter with his car and killed her because he felt she was becoming too Americanized? American law abides here only!!