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Forum News Service, Published December 12 2013

Esko woman pleads guilty in hit and run

CARLTON, Minn. - An Esko woman accused of leaving the scene of an accident after striking and injuring a bicyclist in June pleaded guilty Wednesday in Carlton County Court.

Carol Emily Nygren, 70, agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of criminal vehicular operation (leaving the scene of an accident) in the June 16 accident at Highway 61 and Rolling Road near Esko.

Nygren’s attorney, Joanna Weigert, said that as part of the agreement, Nygren has agreed to permanently surrender her driver’s license, pay personal restitution and write a letter of apology to the victim, Michael Howard Norton, 44, of Duluth. The agreement recommends that Nygren be sentenced to five years of probation.

According to a criminal complaint, Nygren was not located until the day after the accident, at which time she denied responsibility, though her car appeared to have sustained significant damage. The complaint said Nygren told authorities she’d been following a truck hauling gravel and that falling rocks caused the damage.

Assistant County Attorney Michael Boese said Norton has had multiple brain surgeries and continues to suffer from traumatic brain injury-like symptoms and seizures.

Nygren’s sentencing is set for Feb. 19.