Troopers Reconstruct Deadly Crash
Police spent several hours Friday reconstructing a deadly crash along Route 11 near Berwick.
The coroner and the district attorney consider the wreck a homicide, and the driver accused of causing it has a history of driving drunk.
Newswatch 16 checked the court records for Theodore Luciw, the driver who police said caused the crash. He has had several DUI guilty pleas in the past in Luzerne and Columbia counties.
He has not been charged yet for the crash Wednesday that killed Rachel Wolfe, 84, of Berwick, but investigators said that is likely coming soon.
State police were back on the scene of a crash where Wolfe lost her life. The spot is only a few hundred yards from her home just north of Berwick.
Police said on Wednesday Wolfe was attempting to turn from Route 11 onto Bell Bend Road where she lived.
Police said Theodore Luciw was driving a pick-up truck that hit Wolfe’s car. His truck burst into flames. Investigators said he was likely under the influence.
Police said Luciw was illegally trying to pass and got in the center lane. He ran into Wolfe’s car and then went flying over to the side of the road in his pickup. People were able to rescue him before it went up flames, but Wolfe didn’t survive.
“She always sat there with a smile on her face. Not once did I see her frown,” said Pastor Larry Kreischer of Beach Haven United Methodist Church which Wolfe attended. She also volunteered many hours there. He added the woman was dedicated to her church and her family. “She really enjoyed life and she really enjoyed her grandchildren. She was looking forward to it and there was going to be another one coming soon and she was looking forward to it.”
Her family said she was full of life, rode motorcycles late in her life and water skied not long ago too.
They said she was just heading home to take down her Christmas tree.
Now police investigate her death and officers said a man with a history of DUIs is the reason she is gone.
“We had a little prayer and I prayed for the person that hit her and they also felt the same way. We’d like to see something done that could stop him from every doing this to anyone else again,” Pastor Kreischer added.
The family of Rachel Wolfe has a plea to all drivers to think of them whenever considering getting behind the wheel drunk.
Police are waiting for blood alcohol tests to return, but they do expect to file some kind of charges soon.