They had to leave her after getting a call about a man walking on the freeway — who also ended up dead.
Two Pennsylvania state troopers have been run over and killed by a suspected DUI driver they had let go just minutes earlier, according to police.
Trooper Martin F. Mack III, 33 (pictured, left), and Trooper Branden T. Sisca, 29 (pictured, right), along with another as-yet-unnamed pedestrian, all died when they were struck by a speeding car on Philadelphia’s I-95 in a bizarre turn of events early Monday morning.
The two troopers were driving southbound shortly after 12:30 AM when they spotted a suspected DUI driver, and pulled her over, NBC10 reported.
But before they could process her, they received a call about a man walking on the highway, and were forced to leave the scene to deal with that, letting the DUI suspect go.
They spotted the man further southbound, walking along the freeway near the Broad Street exit, and pulled over into the left lane. They were placing him in the back of their cruiser, when the very same car they had just pulled over moments earlier “traveling at a high rate of speed” came zooming up the left lane behind them.
The female driver attempted to swerve around them using the shoulder, but ploughed into the cruiser, with all three men gathered around it, investigators told the outlet.
“The impact was so great that it threw the troopers over into the northbound lanes of Interstate 95,” an emotional Pennsylvania State Police Captain James Kemm told a press briefing.
The female driver stopped a short distance later after she crashed into a barrier, police said.
State police dispatch tried to contact the two state troopers, but when they couldn’t, they sent back up. Arriving officers found their colleagues lying on the opposite side of the freeway, with witnesses attempting CPR.
All three men died on the scene.
Pictures from the site showed the wrecked police cruiser with its airbags deployed; a short distance away was a silver SUV with significant front-end damage.
“This is a heartbreaking tragedy that occurred while these troopers were protecting and serving,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “This mournful incident is a stark reminder of the risks — and sacrifices — our law enforcement officers undertake every day to keep us safe. My heart goes out to their families and the communities they lived in and served.”
Trooper Mack, a married father of two young daughters, had been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since November of 2014.
Trooper Sisca — who leaves behind a wife and unborn child — had only enlisted in February of 2021.
Both received a full guard of honor from their colleagues on Tuesday morning, while flags throughout the state were flown at half-mast.
The female driver meanwhile has yet to be identified — as have any possible charges.
“A young driver is potentially facing extremely serious consequences,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said, per CBS Philly.