Gerritsen Beach woman dies in fiery hit-run wreck in Tribeca
A 57-year-old Gerritsen Beach woman had no chance of escape when her vehicle was struck by a hit-and-run driver, causing it to flip over and burst into flames in Tribeca Saturday morning, police said.
The woman, identified as Amy Phillipson of Gerritsen Beach Avenue, was killed when the hit-and-run driver struck her vehicle, a 2003 Honda CRV, on the northbound West Street at 7:25 a.m. on Saturday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We were supposed to be together … on New Year’s Eve — we were going for Italian food at Batista on Avenue N and then to a friend’s house,” said Arlene Brodman, a longtime close friend of Phillipson. “We are still in shock. I can’t believe it — like a nightmare, and we just want to wake up from it.”
Phillipson was a lifelong resident of Brooklyn. She lived in the Brigham Street Co-Ops in Sheepshead Bay before moving into her current Gerritsen Beach apartment building. She attended Sheepshead Bay High School and went to college for several years before getting a job on Wall Street, only to lose it during the ‘90s market crash.
She was on her way to work at FedEx on West Street when the crash occurred, Brodman said.
Police arrested driver Sherman Harrison, 37, of Maryland and charged him with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident, officials said.
When police arrived on the scene of the crash, they found six vehicles had been involved, including two parked cars near the corner of Laight Street and West Street.
Phillipson’s car was upside down and in flames when firefighters arrived. She was pronounced dead inside the vehicle.
Police say Harrison, driving a 2012 Audi traveling north on West Street, struck Phillipson’s Honda, then hit a Toyota pickup truck driven by a 28-year-old and finally struck a 2015 Hyundai driven by a 68-year-old woman.
Police say Harrison exited his vehicle with a dog and tried to flee but was nabbed by police shortly after the crash. He was suffering from facial injuries.
Brodman said Phillipson was a selfless person, who “loved life and was always ready to help people.” Her Facebook page had pronouncements against anti-semitism. She was also a lifelong Mets fan and a wrestling enthusiast, Brodman added.
“She never, ever said bad words about anyone — she helped anyone she could. She was a fixer person; she put TVs together — computers, iPads — very mechanical and computer savvy. We would travel in a group of friends, and we couldn’t wait for her to retire and join us traveling more often. She was an amazing person,” Brodman said.
She survived by a sister and nieces, Brodman said. The funeral will be held on Friday, Jan. 4, 10 a.m. at I.J. Morris, 1700 Coney Island Ave.
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