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Wounds still fresh for widows of Pa. State Troopers killed on I-95

CBS Philadelphia 3/20/2023 Madeleine Wright

WYNEWOOD, Pa. (CBS) -- It's been almost a year since two Pennsylvania State Police Troopers were hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver. 

The crash also claimed the life of a man who was walking along the side of Interstate 95 in South Philadelphia. 

Now for the first time, we're hearing from the widows of Martin Mack and Branden Sisca on how they're honoring their husbands' memory. 

 "There's a war on police officers that's never going to stop," Stephanie Mack, the widow of Martin Mack, said.  

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For Stephanie Mack and Brittany Sisca, the pain of losing their husbands is still fresh. 

On the anniversary of the crash, they want the focus not to be on them, but on the officers who responded to the tragedy. 

 "We are living our own personal nightmare," Stephanie Mack said. "I can't imagine showing up and seeing that, and still working. I don't know how you do it."

Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Martin Mack and Branden Sisca were helping a man walking along I-95 in South Philadelphia last March when a suspected drunk driver hit and killed all three of them. 

"There's no excuse for being a drunk driver," Brittany Sisca said. "Shame on you." 

Brittany Sisca wants to see stricter penalties for impaired drivers. 

"First time DUIs, you get ARD'd," Brittany Sisca said. "You do community service. You can't drive for a year and it's a slap on the wrist and it can essentially get expunged after a year. That's not OK and it's unacceptable." 

 From sharing their anger to sharing their support, it's something they are still trying to get used to.

When Temple University police sergeant Christopher Fitzgerald was gunned down on the job in the line of duty last month, they say their wounds reopened. 

Despite their pain, they were there to give comfort to Fitzgerald's widow at the funeral.

"When she hugged me, I said 'I'm Proud of you. You got out of bed. You've been getting out of bed. Your feet touch the ground every day,'" Stephanie Mack said. "And she just hugged tighter."

Both widows say they want the community to do its part to keep officers safe the way they keep us safe. 

The anniversary will no doubt be an emotional one. 

The widows will attend a private luncheon with other state troopers to honor their husbands' memories.

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