"He was probably upset, seeing his friend hurt like that," Denzell's father, Wyndell Mitchell, said. "He was a very careful rider."
Denzell called himself "Denny Ryder" as a tribute to his passion for motorcycles.
"Denny Ryder's love for bikes was second to none," his family said. "He could be found riding not only his, but yours and anyone else's that was accessible."
Denny, as he preferred to be called, made many friends with his happy, outgoing personality.
"Denny loved life, everybody and everything," his family said. "His affectionate nature was contagious; that big smile drew you into his bear hugs and kisses.
"Denny was love, and exemplified it in everything he did."
He was born in Philadelphia the third and youngest son of Wendell Mitchell and the former Alean Denise Martin. He graduated in 2005 from George Washington High School, where he played football as a defensive end.
He later attended Lincoln Technical Institute, where he was trained in automotive technology.
Denny was employed for seven years by U.S. Airways International at Philadelphia International Airport. He was lead ramp agent and also served as a union shop steward.
He joined Corinthian Baptist Church, at 21st Street and Godfrey Avenue, where he and his brother, Wendell Kareem, were involved in the video ministry.
Denny was looking forward to marrying his girlfriend, Teraira Torrence, and to starting a family.
"Denny enjoyed traveling and partying with friends," his family said. "We would be remiss if we did not mention his love for animals. There was a large hole left in his heart when he lost his best friend and dog, Jojo, last year.
"Denny's greatest love was that which he had for his family, and he let us know it."
Besides his parents and brother, he is survived by two sisters, Remi and Hasina; another brother, Damion; and his grandparents, Eleanora, Tommy and Gyvonne Mitchell.
Services: 11 a.m. today at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Ave. Friends may call at 9 a.m.