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Riverview man faces DUI manslaughter charge in death of bicyclist

After hitting the bicyclist, the Florida Highway Patrol said the driver took off and dragged the bicycle with him.

RIVERVIEW — A 24-year-old driver is accused of fatally running down a bicyclist while impaired and then driving off, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Brian Gregory Laxton was arrested early Saturday on charges of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

The incident took place at about 2:58 a.m. on U.S. 41, south of Riverview Drive.

Laxton was driving an SUV south in the outside lane of U.S. 41, troopers said. A 45-year-old man whose named was not released was riding a bicycle along the edge of southbound U.S. 41.

The SUV driver overtook the bicyclist and struck him, troopers said, throwing the man onto the sidewalk.

The driver then took off, troopers said, dragging the bicycle about 2½ miles south along U.S. 41 to Beach Avenue in Gibsonton. There, Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies pulled him over and detained him, the Highway Patrol said.

The bicyclist died at the scene. The driver was arrested.

Laxton, of Riverview, was taken to the Hillsborough County jail, where a breath analyzer estimated his blood-alcohol content level was 0.130 and 0.128, according to jail records. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired at 0.08 or greater.

He was being held in the jail Saturday without bail.