Dec 152010
Authors: Rachel Childs

A motorist who drove the wrong way down Interstate 25 before smashing into an oncoming car, killing one passenger and injuring another, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to all charges against her.

Elizabeth Long, 35, drove a her Toyota Rav4 for more than four miles on the wrong side of the interstate before crashing into a Honda Accord, killing 22-year-old CSU graduate Mary Warren and injuring the driver, Jonathan Swanson, 32, of Loveland.

Long’s eight charges include two counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of vehicular assault and one count each of leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence.

The crash happened shortly after 11 p.m. on July 5, shortly after several witnesses reported seeing an SUV traveling the wrong direction on I-25.

Prosecutors claim Long had a blood alcohol level of nearly .252, three times the legal limit, and was going about 75 mph, showing no signs of breaking upon impact.

Warren, who just weeks before graduated from CSU with majors in journalism and political science, died at the scene. She had planned to travel to Kazakhstan after graduation for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps.

“The charges pressed and the charges Elizabeth Long will be sentenced for can never replace the life she took and what the future held for Mary,” said Daniel Sheahan, a close friend of Warren’s. “And I also don’t see how anyone could ever right this wrong, but I also like to believe that we are all doing the best we can with what we have.”

Long’s sentencing date will be set for early next year.

Crime Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at

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