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Police arrest driver who struck fallen motorcyclist in Pinellas Park crash

PINELLAS PARK — A 26-year-old woman was arrested Monday night after police say she ran over a motorcyclist hours earlier, then fled the scene.

The incident took place at about 4 a.m. Sunday, just north of Bryan Dairy Road. The driver, Sierra Ethridge, of Clearwater, struck Christopher Mathew Babcock, 22, after he lost control of his 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle and was ejected onto the roadway, according to Pinellas Park police. Babcock crashed while speeding north on U.S. 19, police said.

Earlier, police identified three drivers who stopped at the crash scene and cooperated with investigators: one who pulled over and attempted to warn other drivers; one who accidentally struck Babcock; and another who hit debris from the crash.

Then on Tuesday, police said Ethridge had also struck the motorcyclist while he was on the roadway, but did not stop or notify authorities. She was arrested based on additional information provided to police and a follow-up investigation.

Ethridge was being held at the Pinellas County jail on Tuesday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Babcock was pronounced dead at the scene. It was unclear whether the other drivers were injured.

The crash closed the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 for several hours.