Woman who swam from fatal crash strikes plea deal

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LONGMONT, Colo. – A Boulder woman who caused a fatal car accident and then tried to flee by swimming across a lake pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

Under a plea agreement, Lisa Norton, 32, faces between 20 and 36 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 18.

She originally faced a charge of first degree murder.

Authorities say Norton was drunk when she crashed her pickup truck into a car driven by 33-year-old Gabriel Nielsen on Nelson Road in Longmont on June 25, 2011.

Nielsen died at the scene. His sister and two-year-old daughter were seriously injured.

Norton fled the accident on foot, jumped into Clover Basin Reservoir and tried to swim away. Boaters pulled her from the water and turned her over to police.

Just two days before the crash, Norton was sentenced to 12 months of probation for driving while ability impaired.

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