Baltimore, MD- Police are still investigating an accident involving Maryland’s first female bishop who they allege fatally struck a bicyclist over the weekend. A deeper look into the bishop’s background shows she was previously charged with DUI.
The Episcopal Diocese has confirmed that Bishop Heather Cook, a high-ranking official in the church, was involved in the fatal accident that left a 41 year-old father of two dead, CBS Baltimore reported.
The accident took place in North Baltimore on Saturday afternoon. Details about the initial impact are scant, but it appears as though Bishop Cook struck Tom Palermo as he was biking in a local park.
Another bicyclist, Moncure Lyon, told the Associated Press that he found Palermo lying on the sidewalk unconscious. He tried to rouse Palermo, but was unable to because of the head trauma he suffered.
Cook fled the scene of the accident, but returned 20 minutes later to “take responsibility for her actions,” Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton said in his statement, according to CBS.
Lyon then noticed a green Subaru with caved in windshield in the park and told the Associated Press he followed the driver to her gated community. Lyon told different media outlets that Cook only returned to the scene because he followed her and pointed her out to police.
A deeper look into Cook’s background revealed that she was charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in 2010. The possession charges were dropped, but Cook pleaded guilty to the DUI charge and successfully completed her sentencing.
Palermo was a beloved father of two who was known to run a bike repair shop out of his home. The Baltimore cycling community is demanding Cook be charged since she fled the scene of the accident.
Police are still investigating the accident, but it does not appear that Cook was intoxicated when this accident took place. Bishop Cook has been placed on leave until the investigation of the accident is complete.
In a collision between a car and a bicyclist, the bicyclist is at an obvious disadvantage. They lack the protection of a vehicle, and as a consequence often suffer catastrophic injuries. Those injuries can include head trauma spinal injuries and broken bones, causing the victim to become temporarily or permanently disabled. Accident victims are typically faced with exorbitant medical expenses, and if they are unable to work, these victims will soon find themselves drowning in debt.
There are many occasions in which a bicyclist must take responsibility for a car collision, but the vast majority of accidents are caused by a negligent driver. When driver negligence results in an injurious or deadly accident, a Baltimore accident attorney can make certain that driver fairly compensates their victim or victims.
Bicyclists may be unclear what to do in the aftermath of their accident. This is a crucial time and the actions an injury victim takes will affect the outcome of their claim. Speaking with a Baltimore accident attorney soon after your accident can give you peace of mind and assurances you will get just compensation.

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