Pinellas Park man involved in fatal hit-and-run makes 1st court appearance

By Josh Rojas, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, June 01, 2017, 8:20 AM EDT

A Pinellas Park man who’s accused of leaving the scene of a motorcycle crash involving death and hiding his car in a garage made his first appearance in court on Wednesday.

  • Crash killed John Ryan, 61, early Tuesday
  • Ryan Mogensen, 28, being held on multiple charges
  • Fundraiser planned for John Ryan's family this weekend

Ryan Mogensen, 28, is being held in the Pinellas Jail on more than $100,000 bond for multiple charges. Mogensen was driving a black 2001 corvette when he struck and killed John Ryan, 61, who was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle on the 5500 block of 110 Avenue in Pinellas Park on Tuesday at 12:30 a.m., according to a police report.

“He loved his bike,” said the victim’s boss, Robert Yoho. “He didn’t ride fast. He just rode.”

Initially, police believed the crash only involved the motorcycle hitting a parked car. Officers then found pieces of Mogensen's corvette at the scene.

Sgt. Mike Lynch said a resident saw Mogensen drive away from the scene to the Plantation Gardens apartment complex across the street from the crash location.

Lynch said investigators made contact with Mogensen at the apartment complex, who at that point refused to cooperate about the whereabouts of his vehicle. Officers obtained a search warrant for Mogensen’s garage at 5:30 p.m. and discovered the black corvette with vehicle damage consistent with the parts found at the crash scene, according to police.

Ryan Mogensen, 28, is being held at the Pinellas County Jail. (Photo: Pinellas Park Police)

Police said Mogensen was interviewed and admitted to knowing that he struck the motorcycle in the early morning hours.

“You can still stop and try to save the life that you just ruined,” Yoho said.

Mogensen was arrested on three counts of leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage and leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

Yoho, who owns the Showtime Speedway where Ryan worked and liked to race cars, said he’s going to hold a fundraiser for the family this weekend.

“This Saturday night we’re going to have a little celebration of life out here,” he said. “We’re going to try and get some extra cars out here and get a big field and maybe throw some extra money at the class, put a little entry fee and donate that to the family to help with funeral costs.”

John Ryan, 61 (center) loved to ride his Harley Davidson bike and race cars at Showtime Speedway, where he worked. (Photos courtesy of Robert Yoho)