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Colo. Woman Tries to Swim Away from DUI Crash

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on July 06, 2011 7:05 AM

Just sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to driving under the influence, Boulder resident Lisa Norton was charged with first degree murder last week after trying to swim away from a DUI crash that resulted in the death of Gabriel Nielson.

While her two other victims — Nielson's sister and young daughter — remain in critical condition, Norton is being held at the Boulder County Jail and is under suicide watch.

According to police, Lisa Norton side-swiped another car shortly before causing the fatal crash, reports the Longmont Times-Call.

After hitting the Nissan that belonged to Gabriel Nielson, the paper reports that witnesses saw her jump into the Clover Basin Reservoir in an attempt to swim away from the scene.

She fought with authorities as they tried to fish her out of the water.

Though it's unclear whether alcohol played a role in the crash, the paper reports that two days prior to her arrest, Lisa Nelson was sentenced to probation for a March DUI.

Police also found marijuana and a glass pipe in her truck.

In addition to murder, Norton is also being charged with child abuse, assault, driving with a revoked license, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance, and, of course, fleeing from the scene of the crime.

This last one is particularly interesting as it's just about unheard of for a suspect to attempt to flee police by swimming across a lake.

Regardless of how a person chooses to flee, running from the scene of a car accident, even if it does not cause injury, is illegal. Even though Lisa Norton failed to do so, drivers are legally obligated to remain until police show, or, at the very least, until they exchange information those involved.

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