Two Pennsylvania troopers were helping a man on the side of a highway early Monday when a driver plowed into them, killing all three. In a shocking twist, Martin F. Mack III, 33, and Branden Sisca, 29, had initially pulled over the female driver on suspicion of driving under the influence but had to leave her after they were alerted to the man walking in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field, reports WCAU. They were trying to get the man into their SUV around 12:45am when the woman, driving on the shoulder in an attempt to get around the scene, struck all three people, police said.
The female driver was "traveling at a high rate of speed," and "the impact was so great that it threw the troopers into the northbound lanes," said Capt. James B. Kemm, commanding officer of Troop K, per LehighValleyLive.com. Other troopers found witnesses attempting CPR on the victims, who were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have yet to name the pedestrian or the driver, who remained at the scene. "Right now, we are conducting an active investigation that is DUI-related," Kemm added, per the AP.
The troopers "made the ultimate sacrifice this morning while assisting a citizen in need," state police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick said at a Monday press conference, per LehighValleyLive.com. "Their lives were senselessly cut short." Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the state flag to fly at half-staff through Friday, calling it "a very sad day for Pennsylvania." He said it was a reminder that troopers "lay their lives on the line for all of us, every day." Both Mack and Sisca were members of Troop K. Mack joined in 2015, while Sisca joined from the 161st graduating cadet class in August. He also served as chief of the Trappe Fire Company No. 1 in Montgomery County. (Read more Pennsylvania stories.)