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Woman who drove off cliff into Lake Erie charged

Posted at 12:09 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 12:09:10-05

The woman who police said drove off a cliff into Lake Erie while evading police is now facing charges.

According to court documents, Kimberly Muskiewicz was charged with failure to comply with an order or signal of police officer and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

Lorain police had to rescue Muskiewicz after she drove her car into Lake Erie earlier this month.

It all started when officers responded to a home on East 35th Street around 1:45 a.m. on Dec. 9 for a report of a suicidal woman with a handgun. 

Police ordered the woman to drop the weapon but she refused, placing the gun against her head and approaching officers, police said. As they retreated to positions of cover, the woman got in her car, which was parked on the street, and drove off. 

Officers followed her through Lorain and Sheffield Village before she stopped at the intersection of Root Road and East Erie Avenue.

Police say she then accelerated through an intersection, a yard and then off a 35-foot cliff, landing in Lake Erie.

The woman survived the crash into the lake and was able to get out of her car but then, police say, she swam out into open water apparently to end her own life. 

Officers Brent Payne, Craig Payne and Adam Ehrke dove into the water and were able to rescue the woman. She was transported to Mercy Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. 

Muskiewicz has pleaded not guilty to her charges.