Deputies make arrest in hit-and-run fatality of USF researcher

TAMPA — Deputies arrested a man Tuesday in connection with last month's hit-and-run crash that killed a University of South Florida researcher riding her bicycle home from the lab.

Shawn Lee Burton of Lutz was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death.

He was driving a red 1998 Ford Explorer that had been loaned to him when he struck 30-year-old Kayoko Ishizuka at 1:40 a.m. Sept. 25 near University Square Drive and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says.

She had lights on her bike, wore a helmet and rode in the bike lane, deputies said.

The sport utility vehicle's owner had noticed the damage and asked Burton what happened, said Deputy Larry McKinnon, a spokesman for the sheriff.

When Burton said he had hit a deer, the owner became suspicious. The news media had begun reporting Ishizuka's death and a description of the vehicle, so the owner contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Ishizuka was a recent biochemistry doctoral graduate and was working as a research associate at USF's department of molecular medicine.

Deputies make arrest in hit-and-run fatality of USF researcher 10/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 8:53am]

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