Accused drunk driver arrested nearly 6 months after deadly hit-and-run, Cocoa police say

Suzanna Norris, 49, arrested on charges stemming from June 20 crash

Suzanna Norris, 49 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

COCOA, Fla. – A woman has been arrested, accused of driving drunk during a deadly hit-and-run crash that happened nearly six months ago in Cocoa.

Police arrested Suzanna Norris, 49, Wednesday. Police said she was behind the wheel of the car that hit and killed 37-year-old Passion Lucas on June 20.

Investigators said Lucas was hit while she was walking north along Industry Road, just north of the State Road 528 overpass. According to police, Norris hit Lucas with her 2009 Chevrolet Impala around 2:20 a.m. and drove off.

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First responders got to the scene a short time later and tried to help Lucas. The woman was flown to the hospital where was pronounced deceased.

Norris returned to the scene of the crash, police said, where she admitted that she knew she hit something but was not sure whether it was a person or an object.

Investigators said they later determined that Norris’ blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash. Officers said they also found surveillance video showing Norris drinking beer and shots prior to the hit-and-run.

“I am very happy that we were able to make an arrest in this investigation, and hopefully bring some closure for the Lucas family,” Cocoa Police Chief Evander Collier said in a statement. “Norris’ decision to consume alcoholic beverages beyond the legal limit and driving was a major factor in Passion Lucas’ death. We took our time and did a thorough investigation in order to arrive at a just conclusion.”

The police chief did not directly address why it took officers nearly six months to arrest Norris.

“I am not happy with the way this case was originally handled,” Collier’s statement reads. “It has been said the only reason such action was taken was because of several articles in the media. I can assure you, we were taking corrective actions long before the first media contact requested information. We will always strive to do the right thing, no matter how long it takes.”

Norris now faces charges of DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and DUI.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.