One of Nicholas Wilson's favorite things to do when he wasn't training as a triathlete was to drop into The Farm House, 902 Manatee Ave E., to pick up mini doughnuts.
It came as a shock to the staff there and his friends when the 34-year-old, a former member of the Manatee County Emergency Medical Services Auxiliary, was struck from behind by a vehicle and killed about 3:15 a.m. June 28.
Wilson was in training, riding his bike south on Lorraine Road near 59th Avenue East about 3:15 a.m., when he was struck and killed.
Jolene Hopkins, who was the Manatee County EMS volunteer of the year in 2015, became good friends with Wilson through the auxiliary.
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"He was the most kind, giving person. Everyone is just devastated over this. He was just the best," Hopkins said.
Hopkins went to Steven Sheardown, owner of The Farm House, to see if the business would host a benefit for Nicholas Wilson's family. He left behind a wife, Kristy, and two children, ages 4 and 1.
Sheardown quickly agreed. A firefighter boot and auxiliary helmet will be on display at the doughnut shop from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Anyone who cares to may drop money into the boot.
"He used to come in to get doughnuts all the time," Sheardown said.
A 23-year-old Jacksonville man who was driving a Toyota Rav4 that struck Wilson was not injured. Troopers shut down Lorraine Road for several hours following the crash.