Man pleads guilty to Ocean View crash that killed mother of 2

Posted at 2:01 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 14:01:19-05

Phillip Harrison was charged with DUI and felony hit-and-run

NORFOLK. Va. – Norfolk man Phillip J. Harrison pleaded guilty in Norfolk Circuit Court Wednesday to his role in the July 2017 hit-and-run death of an Ocean View woman.

Harrison was charged with involuntary manslaughter, refusal of blood or breath test and hit and run, and his sentence will be capped at nine years of active incarceration.

In July 2017, Harrison collided with 54-year-old Erika Zankli while she was riding her bicycle in the curb lane of East Ocean View Avenue.

Search warrants state Zankli was hit from the rear by a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck with Virginia license plates.

The court documents say a witness saw the driver, who was described as a white male with dreadlocks, stop by Zankli and drive off without helping.

An investigation gave police an address off Benningfield Court, according to court documents. The house wasn’t registered to Harrison, but he was living there with his girlfriend.

The court documents state a detective noticed Harrison had a recently shaved head and there was hair consistent with dreadlocks on the floor of the bathroom. That detective also noticed Harrison’s breath had the smell of alcohol on it, and that Harrison had bloodshot, glassy eyes and difficulty maintaining balance.

Harrison’s sentencing date is set for February 15, 2019.