Funeral arrangements announced for Montco firefighter killed on I-76

Firefighter Thomas Royds was killed in a serious crash on I-76 in Lower Merion Township.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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HONORING THE FALLEN: A public viewing will be held on Saturday in the Lower Merion High School auditorium in honor of fallen firefighter Thomas Royds.

LOWER MERION, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Flags are flying at half-staff across Pennsylvania in honor of a Montgomery County firefighter who was killed in the line of duty last weekend.

Firefighter Thomas Royds, with the Belmont Hills Fire Company, was struck and killed after responding to a DUI crash on Interstate 76 in Lower Merion Township this past Saturday.

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper and two other firefighters were also injured after being hit while on the side of the road.

A public viewing will be held on Saturday in the Lower Merion High School auditorium from 10 a.m. until noon. Immediately following the viewing, the public is invited to participate in a recessional and final salute to Royds.

SEE ALSO: Firefighter killed in I-76 crash identified; other first responders injured

Authorities say Jacquelyn Walker, 63, of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, was drinking behind the wheel when she struck the first responders.

According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by Action News, Walker had exited her vehicle and was seen leaning on the Jeep with her hands on her face and "clearly shaken." She kept repeating "Oh my God."

According to authorities, Walker had glassy and bloodshot eyes and officers detected an odor of alcohol on her breath. They say her voice was slurred as she talked.

Troopers say she then was seen pouring alcohol out of a cup onto the road. She was taken into custody and gave consent to draw blood.

SEE ALSO: Woman admits to drinking alcohol before I-76 crash that killed firefighter: Affidavit

Authorities found an opened bottle of rum between the front and back seats of her vehicle, the documents say. Walker admitted to drinking mixed alcoholic beverages behind the wheel before the crash.

She is facing vehicular homicide charges in connection with the crash.

Tyre Malik McCall and Cole Henry Strempel were involved in the initial crash and are facing DUI charges.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office said Monday that Walker's lab tests are still pending.

Governor Tom Wolf ordered flags to be lowered until Saturday to honor Royds.

In addition to his service with the Belmont Hills Fire Company, Royds also volunteered at Clifton Heights and was a paid firefighter at Union Fire Association.