quogue, club, hotel, inn, luxury, hamptons, visit
27east.com

Story - News

Police Display Car Involved In Hit-And-Run Death Of Nun As Search For Driver Continues

Publication: The Southampton Press
By Colleen Reynolds   Jul 11, 2012 11:16 AM
Jul 11, 2012 7:12 PM

A Roman Catholic nun was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Monday night in Water Mill, and police have identified the suspected driver and are actively trying to track him down.

The nun, Sister Jacqueline Walsh, 59, was walking along the side of Rose Hill Road, a short distance from a Sisters of Mercy retreat house, where she had come for a religious retreat, at about 8:30 p.m., when she was struck by a 2009 Volkswagen Touareg, Southampton Town Police said. The driver—police have reportedly identified him but have not released his name—ditched the Volkswagen about a half mile from the accident scene, police said.

As of Wednesday morning, police had yet to make an arrest, but the driver has been identified as a local resident.

“We know who the driver of the car is, and there are police officers right now on the street trying to locate him,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon on an unrelated topic at his Hauppauge office. “He lives in the community where the incident occurred. We’re looking for the individual, but we know who he is.”

Police did not return several calls seeking comment on the suspect or how they identified him.

Known among her colleagues simply as “Sister Jackie,” Ms. Walsh had been walking along the normally quiet Rose Hill Road, a dead-end street without a sidewalk on which the retreat, Mercy Villa, is located. The posted speed limit there is 30 mph. At about 8:30 p.m., police started receiving calls of a female lying on the ground and describing her as “bleeding and unresponsive.”

Ms. Walsh was a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a Catholic order whose mission involves helping the sick, poor and uneducated. She was pronounced dead shortly after police arrived. Her body was found on the east side of the road at the end of a driveway of a property neighboring the retreat, officers said.

The unoccupied Volkswagen—with front-end damage—was found about a half mile from where Ms. Walsh’s body was found, detectives said. Based on a description they said was provided by people who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, and who apparently saw a man at the scene before he disappeared, the motorist was described as a “white Hispanic” male, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, in his 20s or 30s, with short spiked hair and wearing dark shorts and a white shirt.

“We are dedicating significant investigative resources to this tragic event,” said Town Police Chief William Wilson Jr. “We will not rest until all possible evidence and information is followed and leads to the apprehension of the individual responsible for the sister’s death.”

Police have not answered several key questions about the fatal accident, including who the registered owner of the car is, whether the suspect is the car’s owner or whether the vehicle had been reported stolen.

Ms. Walsh joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1981. A Brooklyn native, she lived in a Syosset convent and had taken the Sisters of Mercy vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service. She had been ministering as a pastoral associate at St. Edward Confessor Church in Syosset since 2003. Prior to that, from 1997 to 2003, she was the campus minister at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, a Catholic girls high school in Syosset. From 1994 to 1997, she taught theology at the same school, according to Debbi Della Porta, the director of communications for the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy.

The type of retreat she was on is typically used for a time of solitude, when sisters and laypeople contemplate their lives and faith, Ms. Della Porta said.

“Jackie was well-loved, a woman of faith, warmth and humor who touched the lives of many with her joy and concern for others,” Ms. Della Porta wrote in an emailed statement she attributed to Sister Patricia Vetrano, the president of the Mid-Atlantic Community. Ms. Della Porta said the Sisters of Mercy were heartbroken and devastated by the death of their fellow sister.

A car was parked at each entrance to the horseshoe driveway in front of Mercy Villa on Tuesday afternoon, blocking entry to the retreat.

Several nuns spotted coming and going declined to comment on the incident or Ms. Walsh, instead explaining that they had been instructed to refer all questions to Ms. Della Porta.

One nun, who did not give her name, did offer a few words about her fallen sister. “Jackie was a great person. I’ll say that,” she said, adding that Ms. Walsh had gone out alone and was headed back to the retreat at the time she was killed. She declined further comment, climbing into her car parked in front of the retreat.

1  |  2  >>  

You have read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Yes! I'll try a one-month
Premium Membership
for just 99¢!
CLICK HERE

Already a subscriber? LOG IN HERE

We have hit a new low here in the Hamptons. Someone must have been late for their reservations at Trata
By C Law (284), Water Mill on Jul 10, 12 6:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
There is a very special Hell waiting for this person...
By squeaky (253), hampton bays on Jul 10, 12 6:38 AM
Never in my 30 years of living here have I heard of so many deaths on the roads. Something has to change. People should not be dying on what used to be quiet country roads.
By johnj (210), Westhampton on Jul 10, 12 10:32 AM
Unfortunately its not much of a surprise. Glance at other drivers faces when you are out and about. At least a 1/3rd are texting or reading emails. Try it next time you are out, it is frightening.
By C Law (284), Water Mill on Jul 10, 12 10:53 AM
I once passed a driver who had the newspaper unfolded over the steering wheel driving down Sunrise Highway.
By Duckbornandraised (78), Eastport on Jul 10, 12 11:23 AM
well that's the problem. they aren't quiet country roads anymore.
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 10, 12 11:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Having been hit once before by someone reaching for their cell phone, I am constantly checking my rear view mirror especially if that driver is on their cell phone. That way, in case of a sudden stop ahead, I can pull to the side of the car in front of me and avoid being clobbered by the idiot behind me.

One question about the description: A WHITE Hispanic male?
By itsamazing (153), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 12:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Leaving the airbase (military checkpoint) in WH, there is a sign that goes something like this:

You are now entering the most dangerous place on earth, a public highway. Please fasten your seatbelt, and drive defensively.
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 10, 12 4:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ummmm, what is a white hispanic? Wow, that's a new one.
By Spikeland67 (20), Sag Harbor on Jul 10, 12 1:14 PM
Not in the post-Trayvon Martin era.
By Frank Wheeler (1254), Northampton on Jul 10, 12 1:25 PM
Exactly, "White Hispanic" was a way of rescuing the "evil white guy shoots innocent sweet black child" narrative that the media and liberals had going.

George "zimmerman" turning out to be Hispanic, well after the story went out about a white shooter, through them for a loop, so they decided to coin the phrase "white hispanic" to salvage the hate they wanted to gin up.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jul 10, 12 8:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
No, it's not a new one at all; the man has been identified as caucasian - that is his race. He has also been identified as Hispanic - that is his ethnicity. Didn't any of you see the US Census for at least the last thirty years?
By VOS (589), WHB on Jul 10, 12 10:36 PM
It is media speak. If the indidvidual is the victim they are "hispanic". If they are the perpetrator they are "white hispanic".
By jams (46), hampton bays on Jul 11, 12 4:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
A "white Hispanic" is a person of Hispanic descent who is racially white. How the hell do the police know that this "white" man has any Hispanic descent? You people are giving whites a bad name. Admit it, the guy probably looked like typical Hispanic. Don't mislead the public. Now go find the piece of garbage.
By Lets go mets (79), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 1:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Or maybe "you people" are giving hispanics a bad name. Just some food for thought
By intimatewishes (1), southampton on Jul 12, 12 8:53 AM
Can we assume that the car was unregistered and uninsured ? Wouldnt the cops run the registration immediately ?
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Jul 10, 12 4:54 PM
Running the plates means nothing if it was registered with a fake I.D.
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 10, 12 5:09 PM
2009 car was registered
By EastEnd68 (815), Westhampton on Jul 10, 12 5:05 PM
not a cheap car run the VIN and plate probably belongs to someone on Rose Hill being used by an employee
By xtiego (291), bridgehampton on Jul 10, 12 6:14 PM
Yes. Not a Nissan sentra or Honda civic or Toyota corolla. Scumball freaked out, probably quitting his job, not being able to explain to his boss what happened to the car. We'll find him soon. Unfortunately, he'll be sentenced to 3 years, on our dime, assuming, very realistically, that this person was undocumented, drunk, or both.
By Lets go mets (79), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 7:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wow, you folks are one angry, racist bunch. So sad you can't have all the big houses and fancy cars that all the people who (unfortunately) make the Hamptons what they are but... get over yourselves already. "What is a white hispanic?" Get out of your neighborhood once in a while.
A nun is dead and all you can do is focus on race? Why, because your going to go out tonight, help out local law enforcement and canvas the south fork? Please!!
By HarborDad (37), Sag Harbor on Jul 10, 12 8:03 PM
Spare me your accusations of racism. Who are you to judge?
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jul 10, 12 8:14 PM
Who makes the Hamptons what it is? Are you trolling with that post? Get off your soapbox.
By dnice (1314), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 12 9:34 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
Jul 11, 12 10:43 PM appended by Mr. Z
This may end up in a red blaze of glory, but check Google. If what I saw is accurate, Water Mill has gone global news. From Ireland, to Brazil; articles are in the press across an ocean. Just thought it was worthy of note...
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 11, 12 10:43 PM
What about the word "ILLEGAL" doesn't everybody get? If he didn't have anything to hide, why did he run? Hit & Run- pretty descriptive phrase to me...

My heart goes out to the nun's family & friends.
By Brdie (9), Riverhead on Jul 14, 12 10:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
so sad to tell you but...it was the local hampton people that made the hamptons what they are...local artists, writers, business men and women, and the general population of hard working people liveing a simple life without wanting to be "seen" (as in the "hamptons scene") and all the while preserving natural habitats ---not using it for "political" favors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
By UNITED states CITIZEN (200), SOUTHAMPTON on Jul 15, 12 1:29 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By UNITED states CITIZEN (200), SOUTHAMPTON on Jul 15, 12 1:29 PM
May Sister Jacqueline Walsh and the nuns of her order, the Sisters of Mercy, especially those who were there on retreat with her, be at peace.
My love and prayers to all.
By baywoman (88), southampton on Jul 10, 12 8:15 PM
Thank you! Was wondering if someone acknowledged this. May Sister Jackie rest in peace.
By hbaysboomer (8), Hampton Bays on Jul 12, 12 8:21 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jul 10, 12 8:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Fingerprints? Any surveillance footage in the area, not necessarily just the immediate area either? Skin cells or maybe a hair with a follicle in the VW, hopefully it wasn't contaminated prior to inspection qualified forensics expert, but I'm afraid this is just how things are handled on CSI.
By ICE (1195), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 9:03 PM
This is ridiculous. There are more fatal accidents on the south fork than up island where they have 10 times the population density. Why isn't this being investigated? Every one of us out here is in more danger than people in other areas of Long Island.
By btdt (263), water mill on Jul 10, 12 9:44 PM
2 members liked this comment
wow. maybe there actually aren't enough cops.
By milkdilk (43), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 10:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
No, just never one when you need them.
By dnice (1314), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 12 9:35 PM
According to the Suffolk County DA, the SH town police know the identity of the driver but have not located him yet
By itsamazing (153), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 11:35 PM
And they're making CR 39 even wider so even more cars can drive even faster and cause more accidents. Stop the madness.
By johnj (210), Westhampton on Jul 11, 12 8:54 AM
What does road widening and traffic easing have to do with this? Stop the stupidity.
By dnice (1314), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 12 9:37 PM
I'll try and type slowly so you can understand dnice. Widening the roads and easing traffic facilitates more and more road use which leads to more and more pedestrian and vehicular accidents and deaths. The town should be discouraging this, rather than promoting it and investing their efforts in better public transportation methods. Pretty simple to grasp really, even for you.
By johnj (210), Westhampton on Jul 13, 12 4:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wider roads, less shoulder, closer proximity between active roadway and sidewalk. It is pretty impossible to avoid an accident on North Hwy as it stands now, by pulling to the right, ie the shoulder. There is no shoulder! There is a curb then a sidewalk. Wider still? Ridiculous.
By bb (433), Hampton Bays on Jul 14, 12 3:41 PM
Jackie was a great friend to my entire extended family. Her youthful energy, sense of humor, and wonderful spirit will be missed. Her familiar greeting of "Hey kiddo!" will never be heard again. Rest in peace Sister Jackie Walsh.
By Petermlynch (2), Southampton on Jul 11, 12 9:47 AM
First, my condolences on the loss of such a wonderful human being. Commonwealth is a rarely heard word these days. The fifth definition in the World English Dictionary lists an obsolete meaning of the word as: 5. obsolete the general good; public welfare. I don't think this woman saw that particular meaning of the word as "obsolete". If God ever actually said He wanted you to be rich, something tells me she was "wealthy" beyond measure.

This may have been purely an accident, and the ...more
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 11, 12 3:15 PM
God Bless Sr. Jackie, and all the Sisters of Mercy who give of themselves so fully every day of their lives, to our Catholic Church, and our community. This is a terrible tragedy and loss of a beautiful life. Please use your energies in prayer for the Sisters, for the driver, and for each other. We should all exercise a little mercy...
By Shinnecock Hills family (25), Southampton on Jul 11, 12 8:17 PM
Mercy is a rather advanced trait of the human condition.

Not every member of the order Sapiens is capable of such action.
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 21, 12 10:33 PM
If the police know who the driver was why are they not posting his name and picture so people can help locate him.
By EastEnd68 (815), Westhampton on Jul 11, 12 9:14 PM
I could only imagine that Sister would want us to pray for this person, have compassion, and let justice work. RIP
By just breath (82), yuck on Jul 11, 12 9:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
"police want public's help" to find person responsible?? how about giving us, the public, a name and picture so we can help!!! ( the person responsible is probably already back in his home country thanks to his employer)
By xtiego (291), bridgehampton on Jul 12, 12 8:16 PM
2 members liked this comment
Umm...because it's only not racist to do that if the perp is white.or "Cracker American"
By Kaiser Sozay (30), east end on Jul 16, 12 12:37 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By david h (282), southampton on Jul 13, 12 11:00 AM
The Hispanics best friend mowed over and left to die on the side of the road
Ohh the irony....
By Kaiser Sozay (30), east end on Jul 16, 12 12:38 PM
If you wanted this commuity's help, you should have had enough faith in it not to presume it would be a group of vifilantes.

Then again, my faith may be unfounded...
Jul 21, 12 10:25 PM appended by Mr. Z
Fingers moved faster than brain, but you should get the point...
By Mr. Z (6056), North Sea on Jul 21, 12 10:25 PM
Ten months ago Sister Walsh was mowed down and left to die on the side of the road.

Where is the public outrage about this "miscarriage of justice" as the Press said in an editorial late last year?

The public pleaded to help, similar to the recent Boston Marathon attacks, but the Southampton Town PD delayed 11 days to release the suspect's ID and photo.

Did favoritism play a part in this delay?

What is the status of this investigation?

Will we ever ...more
By PBR (4364), Southampton on May 9, 13 3:37 AM
As we honor our veterans, we also remember Sister Jackie's senseless death FORTY-SIX weeks ago, at the hands of a hit-and-run driver who mowed her down and left her to die on the side of the road.

This "miscarriage of justice," to quote the Press's editorial, remains unsolved.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on May 27, 13 9:22 AM
Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on May 27, 13 4:17 PM
Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh, and Senator Lautenberg who died last night.

What "degrees of separation" connect these two people, you might ask?

Today marks the 47th week since Sister Walsh was mowed down. June 9th will mark the 11th month of this "miscarriage of justice" investigation per the Press's editorial.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Jun 3, 13 12:52 PM
48 weeks and 11 months later . . .

Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.

No updates from the authorities, and no feedback on possible favoritism shown in waiting 11 days to release the driver's ID and photo.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Jun 10, 13 6:22 PM
49 weeks and counting.

Rest in Peace.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Jun 17, 13 6:23 PM
364 days ago, Sister Walsh was mowed down and left to die on the side of the road.

Rest in Peace.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Jul 8, 13 6:27 PM
It is now officially a year since this "miscarriage of justice" investigation (per Press editorial) has failed to catch the hit-and-run killer, whose ID and photo were withheld for 11 days by the authorities.

Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Jul 9, 13 10:05 PM
65 weeks since Sister Walsh was mowed down and left to die on the side of the road. Wednesday will mark the FIFTEENTH month.

Perhaps the SHT PD could update us?

Was the Supervisor involved in the decision to wait 11 days to release the alleged driver's ID and photo?

As Mr. Gregor said when he added Sister Walsh's name to Rose Hill Road, there are lots of unanswered questions here IMO.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Oct 7, 13 8:54 AM
Now officially 15 months.

Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 9:43 PM
NINETEEN MONTHS and still waiting for the Supervisor to update us on this.

Rest in Peace Sister Walsh.
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Feb 10, 14 9:39 AM
Have you written the supervisor, asking for an "update"? Have you attempted to FOIL documents related to the case? I don't think the Supervisor is looking at this (old) article, reading your comments and mulling wether or not to submit an "update". Your dedication is to be commended
By Nature (2542), Hampton Bays on Feb 10, 14 10:31 AM
Thanks Nature, just making sure that the back burner heat is still on Low Simmer. Let's just agree to disagree on this process . . .

*
*
*
*
*

Justice will be done.

*
*
*
*
*
*
By PBR (4364), Southampton on Feb 10, 14 10:46 AM
©2014, 27east.com / The Press News Group - Ph: 631-283-4100 - mailbag@27east.com