Body discovered in Hudson is victim of hit-and-run crash

Investigators track down suspect and car
Friend defends suspect of hit-and-run
Posted at 11:28 PM, May 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 05:24:07-04

HUDSON, Fla.-- A family friend defends a suspect state police believe is behind a deadly hit-and-run crash. The crash left 29-year-old Christopher Ryan dead.

A friend hammers down a cross on the spot Ryan died. It is the second time a hit and run driver hit him. But Ryan could not survive his injuries in this latest crash.

Joseph Landry is a friend of the suspect. He calls the incident 'an unfortunate accident.'

“Did he think that he did this? No! He didn’t know. He thought he hit a deer," said Landry. “My heart goes out to the family. We are all very sorry. No one. No one would expect or want this to happen.”

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened just after 9 o'clock Saturday night. The driver, who we are not naming because he has not been charged was heading North on Bruin Drive in Hudson when he hit Ryan. Ryan’s body was discovered the next morning.

Investigators knocked on the suspect’s home less than a mile away and Landry says investigators took his friend's car as evidence. They don not believe alcohol was involved.

“He was crying. He was upset when he found out what happened," Landry said.

Landry insist Bruin Drive was an accident waiting to happen. With only a couple of lights coming from one building once the sun sets the road is more like a black hole. Ryan was the youngest of three brothers and often walked to work, his family tells us.

“Chris was a great kid," said Joseph Cardenas. He's lived in the same neighborhood as Ryan for more than a decade. He also worked with him at a corner convenience store. "He’d helped anyone out. He worked here and volunteer time at this store.”

Neighbor Cornelius Smith says he has almost been hit himself while walking down Bruins Drive. He says he's sick of hearing about all the hit-and-run crashes across the Tampa Bay area.

On Saturday a baby was sent flying out of her mother's arms after a driver rammed into them. They survived. Last weekend a 13-year-old in Dover did not.

“You have no sense of honor," said Smith. "Knowing that you hurt somebody so badly and you don’t have any kindness in your own heart to stop to find out if you did do it not.”