Nosy Neighbor: What happened to the driver who killed a woman on West Street?

M. wrote to ask: “Could you do an update on what happened to Sherman Harrison, the guy who caused the accident on West Street [and killed another driver, Amy Phillipson, 57] while driving 100 miles an hour on Dec. 29, 2018? I think about it every time I walk past Laight and West, where it happened. My heart still breaks for the poor woman who was his victim. I happened to be walking my dog there right after it happened and I remember seeing him being led down Hubert Street by the police, along with his gigantic Rottweiler.”

The case is open and pending, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. On Dec. 9, there was a virtual hearing before Judge Diane Kiesel for her to consider accepting a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect from the defendant. The case was then adjourned to Jan. 6 for that hearing to continue. At the hearing on Jan. 6, Judge Kiesel accepted the plea and issued an examination order. The case was adjourned to Feb. 5 for the judge to review the report.

Sherman, of Upper Marlboro, MD, was indicted in New York Supreme Court on Feb. 5, 2019, with Murder in the Second Degree, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

“As this indictment alleges, he barreled down West Street at an outrageous speed – nearly four times the legal limit – and slammed into her SUV with such force that it caught fire and incinerated her,” DA Vance said in the statement at the time of the indictment. “As this case tragically shows, this kind of driving poses a lethal danger to New Yorkers and will be prosecuted accordingly.”

It was 7:20 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2018, when Harrison was driving a 2012 Audi A6 northbound on West Street near Hubert. The defendant struck Phillipson’s 2003 Honda CRV from behind at a speed of approximately 113 miles per hour near the intersection of West and Laight, causing her SUV to mount the center median, flip over and catch fire with Phillipson trapped inside. Minutes later, paramedics arrived and pronounced her dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, Harrison continued driving northbound on West Street and struck a second vehicle, which subsequently collided with a third vehicle. The resulting impact caused Harrison’s car to spin out and strike two parked cars before coming to a stop on West Street between Hubert and Laight. The defendant then exited his car and fled eastbound on Hubert by foot. An eyewitness identified Harrison to an NYPD officer, and he was subsequently arrested and transported to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. None of the other drivers sustained serious injuries.

At the time of Harrison’s arrest, NYPD officers found several rounds of ammunition in his car, including a loaded .40 caliber magazine and two loaded .9MM magazines.

M. noted that there was some speculation that Harrison was the brother of the singer Mya, whose full name is Mya Marie Harrison. Mya’s father is named Sherman Harrison, and she has a younger brother named Sherman “Chaz” Harrison and both the suspect here and Mya are from the DC suburbs. This Sherman Harrison is born two years after Mya, so it seems if they are not in fact siblings, this is a remarkable coincidence.



    • Yes they are the same person. Sherman was my coworker & it was common knowledge about his sister. I have no idea why this article claims he’s not unless her team is trying to distance from him.

  1. He was one of my first friends I made on campus when we attended UMCP. Very smart and quiet guy, I’m shocked, this is so unlike him at least when we were on campus. To answer your question, yes, he’s Mya’s brother.