By Elizabeth Hur
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) — A Pennsylvania State Trooper is facing charges in a deadly crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Eyewitness News first reported on Trooper Barry Searfoss, who police say caused the accident that killed a young woman.
The victim was just 21-years-old and her parents’ only daughter. On Tuesday night, her family spoke about their loss.
Robin Williams worked full time while attending college and pursuing a career in healthcare.
Doreen Thomas, the victim’s cousin, said, “And with being in healthcare, she helped take care of her mom who is bedridden. Her mom is saying, ‘How can I get through this? What am I going to do?’ And the only thing I can tell her is minute by minute.”
Williams was killed in a car crash on Friday night in Upper Dublin Township. Police say it happened when 40-year-old Barry Searfoss, a Pennsylvania State Trooper who at the time was off-duty in his own pick up truck, rear-ended Williams’ Lincoln Town Car. Police say the car burst into flames, and Williams suffered fatal burns.
“It’s a shame, because we’re trying to get a grasp and handle on what’s going on and why this happened,” said Tony McNeil, Williams’ uncle.
Police say Searfoss failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was later released pending the outcome of his blood tests.
No one answered the door at his Coatesville home. Police say that for the time being, he’s back at work on desk duty. We’re told he’s been a trooper since March 2001 and is stationed in Lancaster.
“We have two families, the trooper’s family and our family, are going through tough times right now and we want to get that message out,” McNeil noted.
Their message? If it’s found that the trooper was indeed drunk behind the wheel, they want this tragedy to serve as a reminder that drinking and driving don’t mix.
“Not only are we praying for our family for peace and comfort, but we also pray for the driver or the trooper and his family, because both families have been devastated. Everybody’s lives have changed,” Thomas said.
State Police in King of Prussia and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the accident, but they say it could be weeks before the blood tests are returned and their investigation is completed.
The victim’s family says that, while it is difficult, they will be patient and trust that authorities will complete a thorough investigation and the appropriate charges will be filed.