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Key West police: Driver in crash that killed Delray Beach officer ‘possibly’ high

In Delray Beach on Tuesday, local officials had made a memorial outside a government building for Officer Christine Braswell, who died Saturday in Key West from injuries suffered in a scooter crash.
In Delray Beach on Tuesday, local officials had made a memorial outside a government building for Officer Christine Braswell, who died Saturday in Key West from injuries suffered in a scooter crash.

The driver who smashed into a scooter early Saturday in Key West, leaving a Delray Beach police officer dead and a second officer seriously injured, was possibly under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, according to the initial police report released Thursday.

Lacy Morris, 31, of Sugarloaf Key, had glassy, bloodshot eyes, smelled faintly of alcohol and had a “barely-smoked” marijuana joint on the driver’s side floorboard of the 2006 Nissan Altima she was driving at the time, police said.

“Morris expressed that she felt Braswell had plenty of time to stop the scooter and allow her into the parking lot,” Key West Police Officer Jesse Young wrote. “Instead, Braswell crashed into the Nissan....It made me believe she was possibly under the influence of marijuana. The effects of marijuana can affect an individual’s ability to properly judge distance and time.”

Morris refused to take the field sobriety tests or provide a blood sample after the 1:31 a.m. Saturday crash outside the Dion’s Quik Mart, 1128 Truman Ave., but police obtained a search warrant signed by a judge and drew her blood at the scene. Morris could not be reached for comment.

She was released pending the toxicology test results, which could take weeks to return. The crash remains under investigation, said police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

Officer Christine Braswell, 40, a 12-year veteran of the Delray Beach Police Department, died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital but paramedics regained a pulse and she was stabilized on the way to a Miami hospital, the report states. She died Saturday night, surrounded by family, friends and police colleagues, according to the Delray Beach police chief.

Bernenda Marc, 25, also a Delray Beach officer from Lake Worth, was airlfited to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

Braswell and Marc were on a 2014 Yamaha Zuma scooter headed eastbound on Truman Avenue when Morris, coming in the opposite direction, took a left turn in the Altima into the parking lot of Dion’s.

Morris told officers she and her friend Kerby Brown, 43, of Fort Lauderdale, were going to Dion’s for fried chicken.

Instead, the Altima struck the scooter head-on, ejecting both Braswell, who was driving, and Marc.

“Once we get blood results back, then we’ll see exactly if officer’s observcations are accurate or not,” said Evan Hoffman, a Miami-based attorney Morris has retained. “It may not hold up.”

Hoffman said, “We all feel horrible that somebody passed away. We don’t want anyone to just rush to any type of judgment. We want this to be looked at fairly just like any other case.”

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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