A CYCLIST has died after a traffic accident involving a car
driven by the Suffragan Bishop of Maryland, the Rt Revd Heather
Cook, on Saturday.
After press reports of a "hit-and-run" incident, the diocese of
Maryland issued a statement on Monday, clarifying that "Bishop Cook
did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes
to take responsibility for her actions."
The Bishop of Maryland, the Rt Revd Eugene Taylor Sutton, said
in the statement that, "because the nature of the accident could
result in criminal charges, I have placed Bishop Cook on
administrative leave, effective immediately."
The cyclist, Thomas Palermo, aged 42, a father of two, died from
his in-juries in hospital, after a collision with an SUV driven by
Bishop Cook. She did not sustain any injuries.
Bishop Sutton expressed his "deep sorrow over the death of the
cyclist" and offered his condolences to the victim's family.
Bishop Cook was elected in May last year, becoming the first
woman bishop in the diocese. The Baltimore Sun reported on
Monday that court records showed that she had pleaded guilty in
2010 to driving under the influence of alcohol: she was driving
with more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in her blood.
She pleaded guilty, received probation before judgment, and was
ordered to pay a $300 fine.