Two Pennsylvania state troopers and a civilian were killed early Monday after they were struck by a vehicle while trying to help the civilian cross a highway, and authorities believe the driver was driving under the influence.
Troopers Martin F. Mack III, 33, and Branden T. Sisca, 29, were dispatched to I-95 near the sports stadiums in south Philadelphia around 12:45 a.m. after receiving reports of a man walking in the southbound lanes of the freeway, Pennsylvania State Police Capt. James Kemm said in a news conference.
As the troopers approached the man to get him in their police cruiser, authorities say a female driver “traveling at a high rate of speed” attempted to drive past the three, but hit all three men just before 1 a.m. Kemm said the impact sent Mack and Sisca into the northbound lanes of the highway.
Backup troopers sent to the scene saw witnesses attempting to perform CPR on the individuals, but all three men were pronounced dead at the scene.
“We’re here today to mourn the loss of two of Pennsylvania’s finest. Troopers Mack and Siska made the ultimate sacrifice this morning while assisting the citizen in need. These troopers personified our department’s core values of honor, service, integrity, respect, trust, courage and duty,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick said. “There’s no greater act of selflessness.”
Mack enlisted in November 2014 and has been assigned to the Philadelphia barracks since 2015. Sisca enlisted in February of last year and graduated in August. The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association said both troopers were organ donors and have donated their organs to the Gift of Life Program.
“They both had bright careers ahead of them and it saddens me to know how their lives were senselessly cut short,” Evanchick said.
Police did not release the civilian’s name as they were still trying to locate the next of kin.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the victims briefly continued driving after impact before pulling over to the right shoulder of the highway. Kemm said they are conducting an investigation “that’s DUI-related.” Police did not say if the driver had been identified or arrested.
USA TODAY reached out to the Pennsylvania State Police for further details of the investigation.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said it was “a very sad day for Pennsylvania” and ordered state flags to fly at half staff through Friday in their honor.
Contributing: Associated Press
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