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Police: SUV hits trooper, 3 firefighters on I-76; 1 dead

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — A New Jersey woman has been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of a firefighter struck along with two other firefighters and a state trooper as they were responding to a crash on Interstate 76 in suburban Philadelphia, police said.

State police said emergency responders were called shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday to a collision involving two cars in the westbound lanes of I-76 in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County. Police said the trooper was speaking with one of the drivers when a sport utility vehicle drove up on the right shoulder and hit the trooper and three firefighters as well as one of the cars.

The trooper and two firefighters were taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and another firefighter was taken to Paoli Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, police said. The Lower Merion Township fire department identified him as Tom Royds of Belmont Hills Fire Company and said he went into cardiac arrest at the scene. The condition of the other injured emergency responders wasn’t immediately available.

Police said the SUV driver was arrested at the scene. Court documents indicate that Jacquelyn Walker is charged with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle, reckless endangering and other counts. Court documents list the defendant, who turned 63 on Saturday, as residing in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, while state police said she is from Pemberton, New Jersey.

Walker was taken to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail. Court documents indicate that she requested representation by the public defender’s office, which could not be reached over the weekend; a listed number for her could not be found Saturday.

Police said both drivers involved in the initial crash were charged with driving under the influence.


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