Lacy Marie Morris of Sugarloaf Key, Floida was arrested on Tuesday for her alleged involvement in a fatal DUI crash that led to the death of Delray Beach police officer Christine Braswell, 40, and seriously injured Bernenda Marc, 25.
Morris, 32, faces charges for DUI with bodily injury, DUI with property damage, DUI manslaughter, and possession of marijuana, Key West Police announced on Tuesday night. She was arrested in Broward County.
According to the arrest report, the alleged crash took place in Key West on April 8. Morris was reportedly driving a Nissan Sedan when she struck Braswell, who was riding a Yamaha Zuma scooter with Marc as a passenger.
Evidence found by investigators indicates that Morris struck Braswell’s scooter at a turn. Investigators found skid marks at the scene of the wreck that indicate Braswell tried to brake before she was hit by Morris.
Morris reportedly told police that she was going to buy chicken at the time of the crash. She said she saw the scooter Braswell was riding coming at what she thought was a fast rate of speed, but she believed she could make a left turn into the lane Braswell was in ahead of her scooter. She struck the scooter at the turn.
Police who arrived at the scene of the crash noted that Morris smelled of alcohol and had glassy eyes. The officers also purportedly found a half-smoked marijuana cigarette in Morris’ car, indicating that she was under the influence at the time of the wreck.
Morris refused to perform a series of field sobriety exercises and would not consent to a breathalyzer test. Police were forced to get a court order to draw Morris’ blood. The toxicology report revealed that her blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.172 and 0.175, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving in Florida.
Braswell and Marc were rushed to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. Marc suffered serious injuries, including a lacerated spleen, four fractured ribs, abdominal hemorrhaging, and a concussion. She was released from the hospital a week after the crash. Braswell died from her injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital and was kept on life support so doctors could harvest her organs
Braswell was the only female sniper in Palm Beach County and the only woman on the Delray Beach Police Department’s S.W.A.T. team. She was mentor to Marc, who also wants to be a sniper.
Florida has very strict DUI laws because of all the deaths that have been caused by DUI drivers. Anyone convicted of DUI charges receives a combined sentence that includes community service, license suspension, academic classes on DUI, vehicle impoundment, court costs, and fines. First time offenders usually only get probation with no jail time.
Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show Morris has been placed on probation twice for drug-related arrests. The first time was in 2005 for possession of cocaine and again in 2011 for possession of methamphetamine.