A woman from Little Egg Harbor Township will be spending the next 12 to 24 years behind bars in connection to a 2021 crash on the Schuylkill Expressway that killed a firefighter.

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64-year-old Jacquelyn Walker pleaded guilty last fall to third-degree murder, aggravated assault by vehicle, and reckless endangerment.

According to KYW-TV, on July 24, 2021, the Belmont Hills Fire Company, along with 48-year-old Thomas Royds and other first responders, were assisting with a two-vehicle crash on Schuylkill Expressway when authorities say Walker drove her Jeep Grand Cherokee up the shoulder of the highway.

Authorities said Walker was driving a poorly maintained car with no brakes when she crashed into Royds and other first responders.

Royds was killed and three other people were injured.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said after the sentencing,

You've seen today how many lives were destroyed by a choice that someone made in this case. I just pray and hope we don't see anything like this again.

Walker did not respond to questions from reporters Thursday, however, she did speak inside the courtroom, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

I’m not trying to make this devastating accident any softer; my only wish is to have Tom Royds’ family not hate me any longer. I’m truly sorry.

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