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Man severely hurt in hit-and-run after recording vigil on Facebook Live

Failed Boynton Beach mayoral candidate Bernard Wright struck after memorializing teen killed in dirt bike crash
Bernard Wright: 'I stand on what I've said'
Posted at 8:54 PM, Dec 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-27 18:24:31-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A 70-year-old man was severely injured in a hit-and-run while wrapping up a Facebook Live of a vigil to remember a Boynton Beach teenager killed riding a dirt bike one year ago.

Bryce Graham, the event organizer and a friend of the family of Stanley Davis III, identified the hit-and-run victim as the Rev. Bernard Wright, who lost in a race for mayor earlier this year. Graham told WPTV he witnessed Wright being struck right after ending his Facebook Live post.

"It happened so fast that you could hear the impact," Graham said. And when I was able to see what happened could see the debris from the car coming off pieces of the car," vigil organizer Bryce Graham said.

The vigil for Stanley Davis III had begun at 6 p.m.

"Thank God the people are coming in rain, sleet or snow for this is still a movement for justice and equality and absolute accountability," Wright said during the beginning of his nearly 27-minute broadcast.

Wright was struck at 6:39 p.m. in the 800 block of North Federal Highway, according to police spokeswoman Officer Holly Picciano.

Graham said he was crossing the street with Wright but stopped to speak with someone.

"I had to gather myself in so many ways to make sure that he was OK," he said. "While he was laying on the ground, he was praying."

Activist Bryce Graham.jpg
Vigil organizer Bryce Graham explains the moments before and after Rev. Bernard Wright was struck by a car.

The victim was was hit by a white, newer model Chevrolet Camaro. The driver left the scene and hasn't been found, according to Picciano.

Wright was taken to Delray Medical Center.

Graham said Wright is in stable condition with no internal bleeding and no brain damage. The first surgery was a success and he will have to undergo more operations, Graham said.

The vigil took place where Davis, 13, crashed his dirt bike after an attempted traffic stop by Boynton Beach police on Dec. 26, 2021. The teen was traveling 85 mph on a dirt bike at the time of the crash.

"I just found it very ironic that the poor kid was being remembered a year after his tragic accident and then somebody would be hurt while having the vigil," said Mary Morera.

Stanley Davis III, teen who died while being pursued by Boynton Beach police on Dec. 26, 2021
Stanley Davis III died a day after Christmas after crashing a dirt bike during the police pursuit.

Although a Florida Highway Patrol investigation found in March that Mark Sohn did not act improperly while pursuing Davis and should not face any charges, the city manager concluded that Sohn didn't adhere to policies and procedures during the events leading to the crash. He was fired.

No criminal charges have been filed.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sohn and the city of Boynton Beach.

With regard to the crash involving Wright at the vigil organized by Graham, Boynton Beach police released this statement in part:

Our goal for any event is to work with the organizer to establish open communication, maintain safety and educate on what is required and allowed by law. Unfortunately, attempts at identifying an organizer for this event were unsuccessful. At no point did the police department identify the peaceful event become unruly or traffic being obstructed. In addition, the Boynton Beach Police Department did not receive any calls for service, complaints or concerns in the vicinity of the vigil as it relates to traffic safety.

Boynton Beach police are now asking for the public's assistance in locating the vehicle involved in the crash that injured Wright. Police said the vehicle, at a minimum, sustained damage to the front bumper, fog light, and damage to the passenger side mirror. Anyone with information should call Officer Mastro at 561-742-6100.