A DUI suspect alleged to have fatally struck two Pennsylvania state troopers and a pedestrian on a busy Philadelphia freeway has been arrested and charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday.
Jayana Tanae Webb, 21, of Eagleville, Pennsylvania, was charged with three counts of murder, three counts of homicide by vehicle while under the influence, one count of driving under the influence and several other counts filed by the Philadelphia district attorney, state police said.
Troopers Martin F. Mack III, 33, and Branden T. Sisca, 29, and the pedestrian, Reyes Rivera Oliveras, 28, were killed early Monday.
NBC Philadelphia reported that the troopers had just stopped Webb for a driving-under-the-influence investigation but that they apparently had to cut the process short to retrieve a pedestrian said to be have walking on the freeway — the person who would be the third victim.
Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement Tuesday that as Mack and Sisca worked to get the pedestrian out of danger and into a patrol vehicle, Webb’s vehicle struck them on Interstate 95 South near Lincoln Financial Field before 1 a.m. Monday.
The pedestrian, the subject of multiple 911 reports by passing motorists concerned for his safety, was also killed as the troopers were leading him to their patrol SUV, authorities said. State police identified him Tuesday as Oliveras, a resident of Allentown.
NBC Philadelphia reported that investigators believe Webb tried to drive around obstacles or traffic related to retrieving the pedestrian, drove onto a shoulder and hit Mack, Sisca and Oliveras.
“The impact was so great that it threw the troopers over into the northbound lanes of Interstate 95,” State Police Capt. James B. Kemm said at a news conference Monday.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
NBC Philadelphia reported that the driver remained at the scene.
The SUV that struck the three ended up on the right shoulder a short distance away, authorities said. The patrol SUV also appeared to have been struck, according to video of the crash site.
Questions about when Webb was booked or what her bail might be, if any, were unanswered.
It wasn’t clear whether Webb has an attorney. George Jackson, a spokesman for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, said the public defender’s office had no comment for now.
It wasn't clear whether Webb was arrested at the time on suspicion of drunken driving or in connection with the crash.
"We are conducting an active investigation that's DUI-related," Kemm said Monday.
Mack enlisted in the state force in 2014, and Sisca enlisted in early 2021, state police said. Both had been assigned to the Philadelphia area for the entirety of their state police careers, the department said.
Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday ordered the commonwealth flag at public and government buildings to fly at half-staff until sunset Friday.
"This is a heartbreaking tragedy that occurred while these troopers were protecting and serving," he said in a statement. "This mournful incident is a stark reminder of the risks—and sacrifices—our law enforcement officers undertake every day to keep us safe."