Most serious charges dropped against woman accused of hitting, killing pedestrian in Brevard County

Suzanna Norris faces charge of driving under the influence

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A woman who admitted to authorities that she drove after drinking, prior to a deadly crash involving a woman walking along a road in Cocoa, is now seeing the most serious charges against her dropped by the Seminole-Brevard State Attorney’s Office.

State Attorney Phil Archer’s office announced Wednesday that Suzanna Norris will only face a charge of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor.

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Police arrested Norris, 49, in December for the deadly crash, which happened on June 20. Investigators recommended charges of DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and DUI.

“While we are sympathetic to calls for additional charges, the state is legally and ethically obligated to only file those offenses that prosecutors reasonably believe, based upon all of the available evidence, can be proven beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt at trial,” a news release from the state attorney’s office said.

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Investigators said Norris collided with 37-year-old Passion Lucas 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. However, 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.

The state attorney’s office said a crash reconstruction showed the crash “[was] unavoidable by the [vehicle] driver. The pedestrian created the hazard by walking in the vehicular way.”

“Unfortunately, these findings provide a direct and reasonable defense to any charge of negligent homicide. Further, there is no independent physical evidence or witness testimony to prove the offense of hit-and-run at trial. A defendant’s statements, regardless of their validity, cannot be the sole evidence of guilt to support a criminal prosecution,” the news release reads.

Body camera video from the night of the crash shows Norris admitting to drinking prior to the crash. The video shows Norris asked whether that would cause her any trouble.

The officer on video responded he wouldn’t know until the test results were finalized.

‘’If it’s zero, then no. If it’s eight times over the limit, it could be,’’ the officer said to Norris.

Officers said it was later determined that Norris’ blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Read the full crash reconstruction report below:

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.