MOOSIC — It took hours to clear debris from the highway and get Interstate 81 back open after a crash Monday night.
On Tuesday we learned all of the debris belonged to a family who was moving to Florida. They tell us that was their whole life spilled all over the highway.
The family of five from Lackawanna County say they were packed up and moving to Florida when they lost control on Interstate 81. The camper they had filled with their belongings ripped apart, spilling everything onto the busy highway.
Now, they say their future is on hold.
The state trooper investigating the crash says it was one of the worst messes he’s ever seen on Interstate 81 with stuff just about everywhere.
The crash happened around 9 p.m. Monday. The interstate was still closed into the early morning hours as a family from Jermyn watched all their belongings end up in a dumpster.
It took four hours for crews to clear Interstate 81 south near the Moosic exit and to many of those doing the work, it was a big mess that had the highway closed into the early morning hours.
To the Miller family of Jermyn this was no mess, this was their life, strewn all over the highway.
“That was our whole life. Everything that we own was in that trailer. We have absolutely nothing left, no clothes, no nothing, no vehicle, nothing,” said Marjorie Miller.
We talked to Marjorie Miller and her family on this day after the wreck. Now they’re staying with her dad in Jermyn, but they’re supposed to be on their way to Florida to live near her husband David’s family.
Margorie, David, three kids and two dogs were in a van, hauling a camper jammed with all their belongings when David lost control on I-81, and the camper ripped open.
“He thought it was balanced good, but apparently it wasn’t. That one tractor-trailer came flying by on that one bad corner there on 81 and it just caught the wind and he said it’s going,” she said.
“I was half way asleep. I closed my eyes and next thing I know, I saw my sister crying and I saw Harley crying because I went flying into the wall,” said crash victim Dale Kordish.
The van has little damage. The family got only bumps and bruises but there’s not much left of the trailer. Only the motorcycle strapped inside remains. Troopers say it was overloaded.
Everything else was picked up off I-81 and put in a dumpster.
“All my favorite things, all my toys, all my clothes, everything,” Dale said.
“She’s my life, if we lost her, I don’t know what we would have done,” said Caressa Smith, a cousin.
Now cousins and other family are trying to find ways to help the Millers bounce back.
“Whatever we can do for our cousins, we’ll do,” Smith said.
“All I know is we had our guardian angels on us. If it wasn’t for our guardian angels, I don’t think we’d be here today, I really don’t,” Marjorie said.
The Millers say they were moving to Florida to help care for David Miller’s father.
Now relatives here are trying to find ways to help them.
A fund has been set up through Community Banks, N.A. for anyone who would like to donate to the Miller family. All donations must be made out to “The Miller Accident Fund,” and can be accepted at any Community Bank, N.A. branch.