Shortly after 7:00 am on Saturday, December 29, a driver moving northbound along West Street at speeds prosecutors now estimate to have been in excess of 90 miles per hour slammed into another vehicle at West Street at Laight Street, flipping it over, causing it to burst into flames, and killing the woman inside. The same vehicle, an Audi A6 with Maryland plates also hit four other cars — two parked and two in motion — injuring multiple occupants of the other vehicles, before crashing near Laight Street, in Tribeca.
Prosecutors allege that the driver, Sherman Harrison, then attempted to flee the scene on foot. Multiple witnesses described Mr. Harrison to police, noting that he had multiple facial cuts from the crash, and adding that he sprinted away from the site with a large Rottweiler on a leash. Officers spotted him nearby and within minutes arrested him.
A frame from video shot by a bystander, using a mobile phone, shows Ms. Philllpson’s car engulfed in flames.
Amy Phillipson was killed while driving to work on the morning of December 29. She was 57 years old.
Fire fighters quickly extinguished the blaze in the car that had flipped over, driven by 57-year-old Amy Phillipson, a resident of the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn. But by the time the flames had been put out, her car was an unrecognizable tangle of charred metal. Paramedics pronounced Ms. Phillipson dead at the scene.
A search of Mr. Harrison’s car turned up a magazine for a 40 caliber Glock pistol, loaded with 17 bullets. He was taken by ambulance to Bellevue Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, and is still being held (without bail) for psychiatric observation.
In a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Mr. Harrison (who was handcuffed to a wheel chair) ranted incomprehensibly as he was charged with both manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, as well as unlawful possession of ammunition and leaving the scene of an accident.
The car that prosecutors allege was driven by Sherman Harrison after it had collided with multiple other vehicles.