Several months after a Pennsylvania Turnpike worker was struck and killed on the highway, the truck driver in the crash surrendered to police after he was officially charged in the death.
Efrain Jensen turned himself in to Pennsylvania State Police in King of Prussia Tuesday morning to face homicide by vehicle charges in the death of Bill McGuigan. NBC10 spoke to Jensen as police escorted him in handcuffs.
“I was trying to avoid an accident and I just winded up causing another one,” he said.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
McGuigan, 61, of Ardsley, Pennsylvania, was an equipment operator working for the Pennsylvania Turnpike commission.
McGuigan was working in a construction zone back on June 1 shortly after 8 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the Turnpike in West Pikeland Township. Turnpike crews had closed the westbound right lane between mileposts 314 and 316 for maintenance work.
As they were working, a tractor trailer, that police say was driven by Jensen, entered the closed lane and struck McGuigan along with another employee. McGuigan died from his injuries while the other worker suffered minor injuries.
“He was driving in excess of the speed limit, did not give himself sufficient distance with a fully-loaded tractor trailer to stop the vehicle and had to make the decision to basically crash into these construction vehicles which ultimately killed Mr. McGuigan,” said Chester County Assistant District Attorney Chuck Gaza.
On his way out of court, Jensen had a message for McGuigan’s family.
“I’m really, really, really sorry,” he said. “And I know what they’re going through. I’ve lost family members and I’m really sorry for what they’re going through right now.”
In the weeks after the fatal crash, State Police placed radar traps in construction vehicles and caught dozens of speeders not far from where McGuigan died. Still haunted by the crash, Jensen had a warning for other drivers who speed through construction zones.
“Don’t do it,” he said. “Be careful on the road. This is very serious. It’s a serious charge and anybody could wind up where I’m at right now. So slow down.”