Max Marin, Rodrigo Torrejón and Ryan W. Briggs
The Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania State Troopers on Tuesday announced the arrest of the 21-year-old driver who authorities say fatally struck and killed two state troopers and a civilian on I-95 early Monday.
Authorities have charged Jayana Tanae Webb, of Eagleville, with three counts of third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle, and a battery of DUI-related charges for her role in the three deaths, state police said.
As family and colleagues continued to mourn the fallen troopers and man, prosecutors must now piece together what led to the deadly crash, which happened after Troopers Martin F. Mack III and Branden T. Sisca were dispatched to assist a man walking on the southbound highway near Lincoln Financial Field around 12:45 a.m. Monday, officials said.
As Mack and Sisca were trying to detain the man, Webb attempted to pass the parked state police SUV while driving at a high speed, fatally striking all three men.
In a release Tuesday, state police identified the deceased civilian as Reyes Rivera Oliveras, 28, of Allentown.
The impact of the crash threw the victims over the median. Witnesses attempted to perform CPR, but all three were pronounced dead on the scene. Webb stopped her vehicle in the shoulder nearby and remained on scene, officials said.
As state troopers led Webb out of their barracks in Philadelphia in front of television cameras Tuesday afternoon, she wore sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt and kept her head down. Webb, who graduated from Norristown Area High School, has bragged on social media about speeding and driving drunk, according to her accounts.
It was not immediately clear in court records if Webb had retained an attorney, and a hearing date was not immediately listed.
State police did not offer comment beyond announcing the initial charges. In a statement, District Attorney Larry Krasner called the deaths “tragedies” and commended state police on the swift investigation.
“I again extend my deepest condolences to the colleagues and loved ones of Troopers Mack and Sisca, as well as Mr. Oliveras,” Krasner said. “My office will now seek to ensure this defendant is held accountable for her alleged actions that resulted in this senseless loss of life.”
With charges filed, state police said they would turn over the investigation to Krasner’s office. The timeline of events leading up to the incident remains unclear, including what led Oliveras onto the highway and where Webb had been before the crash. Krasner’s office declined to comment on the details of its investigation Tuesday afternoon.
Troopers often exit their vehicles to assist motorists and deal with law-enforcement issues. State police recorded 620 pedestrians on I-95 in Philadelphia since the beginning of 2020, a figure that includes everything from stranded motorists to criminal suspects or people loitering on ramps.
Sisca and Mack were assigned to Troop K — the division that patrols Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware Counties — which responded to 373 DUI related crashes throughout its jurisdiction and made 1,200 DUI arrests last year, according to state data.
However, fatalities of state troopers in DUI incidents are relatively rare. State police report that 24 officers, including Mack and Sisca, have died in auto-related incidents in the agency’s 116-year history.
Friends remembered the troopers as devoted public servants who cared about helping others. Sisca, 29, joined the force last year and served as a volunteer fire chief in Montgomery County, while Mack, 33, had spent eight years as trooper. Mack left behind a wife and two children, while Sisca’s wife is expecting their firstborn in July.
Webb graduated from Norristown Area High School in 2018, where she wrote for the student newspaper and ran track, according to her social media profiles. Court records do not list any major criminal offenses, although Webb has been cited over several minor traffic violations and then abandonment of a motor vehicle in 2020.
More recently, social media shows Webb marketing a variety of services online, from cosmetics to photography.
But on her public social media pages, in addition to promoting her small business, Webb gleefully posted dozens of times about partying, getting drunk or engaging in other risky behavior, like speeding and drunk driving.
If you ask me, I’m the best drunk driver ever 😭😭😭— TJ🦋 (@Tanae_jay) January 15, 2022
“If you ask me, I’m the best drunk driver ever,” Webb wrote, in January, two months before she collided with Mack, Sisca and Oliveras.
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