WATER MILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A road sign that was put up to honor a nun who was killed in a hit-and-run in the Hamptons may be coming down for good.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the blue sign above Rose Hill Road in Water Mill reads “Sister Jackie’s Way.”
It was installed by Superintendent of Highways Alex Gregor to memorialize a 59-year-old nun who was killed in a tragic hit-and-run accident.
“I said what can we do to help celebrate this woman’s life,” Gregor said.
Sister Jacqueline Walsh was an integral part of the community, McLogan reported. She taught at St. Edward the Confessor in Syosset, and performed outreach across Long Island.
Walsh was walking on Rose Hill Road just steps from the Water Mill Convent in July of 2012 when police say a gardener working nearby ran her down and then eventually fled to his native Guatemala.
“We came out to see that sign, and as people who knew her and loved her, it was very heartwarming,” said St. Edward parishioner Joann Grim.
But now, there is push back from the 43 residents who live on Rose Hill Road. According to a new town survey, the vast majority of homeowners voted against the sign, McLogan reported.
Comments from the survey included:
“Every time someone visits, I am forced to recount this tragedy because they ask who Sister Jackie was.”
“While I have no doubt Sister Jackie was a wonderful person…her tragic death while visiting us is not an event residents wish to recall.”
While McLogan was interviewing Gregor, a nun from the convent called the highway superintendent to say fallout from the sign is making them uncomfortable.
“On this road is all one-percenters,” Gregor said. “And I am truly saddened that rich, spoiled people would go to these lengths.”
Others in support of the sign had messages for those complaining.
“Take a chill pill and sit back and relax, because there’s a lot worse things going on in this world,” said St. Edward parishioner Jeanne Sheehy.
“They have taken it down before, and I think it was put back up because I think the residents of Water Mill really feel strongly that she should be remembered,” said Water Mill homeowner Wendy Routh.
But now, Sister Jackie’s Way may have to come down for good. Citing the results of the survey, the town has decided to remove the sign, adding that local code prevents name changes without an official resolution, McLogan reported.
The town’s Parks Department is expected to be directed within the week to remove the road sign.
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