One Firefighter was killed and others were injured in the Line of Duty early this morning in a serious crash involving a drunk driver(s) on I-76 in Lower Merion Township just outside Philly. A Pennsylvania State Trooper, and fire crews from Belmont Hills Fire Company and Gladwyne Fire Company along with EMS responded to a crash (those also involving drunk drivers-see below) around 0315 hours in the westbound lanes of the Schuykill Expressway near Waverly Road.
Units were initially dispatched at 0304 hours. At 0323 hours, as companies were preparing to clear the initial DUI crash scene, when another vehicle (also DUI) drove up the right shoulder and slammed into the first crash scene, striking four of the personnel. A State Trooper and two Firefighters were taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center by medical helicopters and ground ambulance with severe injuries.
Firefighter Tom Royds, a career Lower Merion Firefighter with the Belmont Hills Fire Company, was taken by ground ambulance to Paoli Hospital under CPR where he succumbed to his injuries. In addition to his career service, FF Royds was also a volunteer Firefighter Captain at Clifton Heights in nearby Delaware County.
The other 2 injured Firefighters were transported by medevac are are in surgery as of 1000 hours. The State Trooper is reported to be stable-but unconfirmed.
Jacquelyn Walker, of Pemberton, New Jersey, is charged with homicide by vehicle and related charges. Tyre Malik McCall, of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and Cole Henry Strempel, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were taken into custody at the scene and charged with DUI in reference to the original crash.
NOTE: This incident occurred in Lower Merion Township, where Firefighter Sean DeMuynck with the Penn Wynne Overbrook Hills Fire Company was killed in the Line of Duty earlier this month. KTIYP’s.
More to follow.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.