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Driver Sought After Syosset Nun Killed In Hit-And-Run Accident

Sister Jacqueline Walsh Remembered As 'Woman Of Faith, Warmth And Humor'
Sister Jacqueline Walsh (credit: Handout)

Sister Jacqueline Walsh (credit: Handout)

WATER MILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Police are searching for a driver involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed a nun on Long Island.

Sister Jacqueline Walsh, 59, of Syosett, was found bleeding and unresponsive on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill around 8:30 p.m. Monday, police said.

Walsh, who was on a retreat with her colleagues from the Sisters of Mercy, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“That is terrible, what’s going on with these hit-and-run drivers. It’s outrageous, hope they can catch him,” neighbor Kurt Brand told CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

“Cars speed down this road. They should put speed bumps out to stop the traffic,” added neighbor Camie Wylie.

The Sisters of Mercy released a statement saying they are “heartbroken” and “devastated” by the loss.

“Jackie was well-loved, a woman of faith, warmth and humor who touched the lives of many with her joy and concern for others,” said Sister Patricia Vetrano, president of the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

There was also a prayer service for Sister Walsh held Tuesday night at St. Edwards the Confessor Church in Syosset.

Detectives located a 2009 Volkswagen Touareg with front end damage approximately half a mile from the scene, police said. The driver, who is said to be between 20 and 30 years old, has not been found.

Sister Camille D’Arienzo, who is a religious commentator for 1010 WINS and also with the Sisters of Mercy, spoke about  Walsh’s legacy.

“She cared about the needs of the people — the spiritual needs, the physical needs, the corporal needs — any way that she could lend a hand or offer comfort or do grunt work.  There was nothing that was below Sister Jackie Walsh,” D’Arienzo said.

Sister D’Arienzo also said Sister Walsh will be sorely missed.

“She was a very giving, generous — just reliable, just a wonderful person,” D’Arienzo said.

Detectives describe the driver as a “white Hispanic” male, approximately 5-foot-7, with short spiked hair. Police said he was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the accident.

“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 Spota said.

The driver’s identity has not been released. Anyone with information is asked to call the Southampton Police Department at 631-702-2230.

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