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Hit-and-run crash leaves Ponte Vedra bicyclist with extensive injuries

Greg Helms' family hopes someone will come forward with information leading to the driver who hit him while he was riding his bicycle along State Road A1A.
Credit: Deanna Helms
Greg Helms

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla — It was an afternoon bike ride that was anything but typical. Greg Helms, 48, was training for an upcoming Iron Man race riding his bicycle along State Road A1A. He was about two miles south of Mickler’s Landing in Ponte Vedra when a white pickup truck hit him and kept driving.

“The white pickup went off into the bike lane where he was riding his bike and hit him and threw him into the bushes,” Attorney Marty Sitler said. “He was discovered by a car that was actually in front of the white pickup truck that saw the crash happen, so we have a pretty good identity of the vehicle that hit Greg.”

Deanna Helms was at home when she got the call that her husband had been hit.

“I got a call about 2:15 p.m. that was from an unknown number and she just said, 'Deanna do not hang up. I'm with your husband,' and my emotions took over. We stayed on the phone with them until the ambulance and the police got there,” Deanna Helms recalled.

Credit: Deanna Helms
Deanna and Greg Helms

Her husband, an avid triathlete, was rushed to Memorial Hospital with extensive injuries.

“He has a shattered scapula, everything that was injured was on the left side of his body. The scapula is your shoulder blade. He broke his back, lumbar L1. He fractured his left wrist, part of his left leg, the fibula and four fractured ribs,” Deanna Helms said.

Credit: Deanna Helms
Greg Helms

Aside from his wife, his family has not been able to visit him in the hospital due to the coronavirus.

“He's going to try to get back home hopefully this weekend. We have a lot of help, but unfortunately, you know you just can't bring a lot of people over because of the virus,” Deanna Helms said. “So, people still can't visit him even when he's discharged. That's unfortunate.”

While the Florida Highway Patrol investigates this hit-and-run, Deanna Helms hopes someone will come forward with information leading them to the driver who hit her husband.

“First and foremost you know we want Greg to have a full recovery," Deanna Helms said, "But secondly, it's no secret we want to find the driver of the vehicle and see him brought to justice."

Witnesses told Deanna Helms that they believe the driver knew he hit her husband. Her attorney believes it was a 2016 to 2018 White Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with damage to the right passenger side. 

"Then he sped off and fled into oncoming traffic to get around the cars to get farther away from the scene," Deanna Helms said.

They are hoping neighbors who live will in the 1000 to 14000 block of State Road A1A in Ponte Vedra will check their surveillance video to see if they captured any images that could help identify the driver on Thursday, March 26 between 1:45 pm.. and 2:45 p.m.

“For that block of homes there would be an emerald green Mercedes convertible and behind that vehicle, we believe there would be a white pickup truck. That's the vehicle we have an interest in,” Sitler said. “After the crash site there is the 2300 block to 3000 block, and that probably won't show the Mercedes because at that point the Mercedes pulled off to help Greg. The white truck however we believe is going to be in that footage probably moving pretty fast.”

If you have any information that can help identify the driver contact the Florida Highway Patrol or Attorney Marty Sitler at 904-305-5142.