The first female Bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Maryland was involved in a hit and run accident over the weekend that killed 41 year old bicyclist Tom Palermo. According to a report by News Max on Dec. 29, Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook was driving the car that hit the bicyclist on Saturday afternoon. Mr. Palermo, the man who was hit by the Bishop, died at a nearby hospital.
Bishop Cook is in the number two spot as a Bishop of the diocese of Maryland and is the first female ever to be a Bishop in the state. The first Bishop, Maryland diocese Bishop Eugene Sutton emailed other clergy members on Sunday to let them know that Bishop Heather Cook did leave the scene when it happened but came back about 20 minutes later, ‘to take responsibility for her actions.’
However, Cook, who is 58 years old or her lawyer did not respond to the emails or calls on Monday for comment about what happened.
According to the Detroit Free Press, a memorial was set up along-side the road where Mr. Palermo was killed over the weekend. They also included a designated bike lane. Bishop Sutton stated that Bishop Cook has been placed on administrative leave for now ‘because the nature of the accident could result in criminal charges.’
No one knows if charges will be filed on Cook, however. The police have confirmed that she did leave the scene and return later. However, they refused to release her identity and will only do so if charges are filed.
The victim, Tom Palermo was a father of two children and was well known in the biking community. He even built custom bikes.