Wrong-way Driver Causes Crash on Interstate 81, Keeps Going

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MOOSIC --  There was another wrong-way driver on Interstate 81 Tuesday morning.  This time, troopers said the driver realized her mistake, turned around, and kept going, but not before leaving chain-reaction crash behind her.

There were smashed cars in the shoulder and debris scattered all over the northbound lanes of interstate 81 in Moosic just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.  The car that caused it all was nowhere to be seen.

State police said three drivers got into a chain-reaction crash as they reacted to a wrong-way driver.

"It`s terrifying! It really is, because, you know, who expects to see a car coming the wrong way and on a highway like this with both lanes of traffic. I mean, everyone was bumper to bumper, there was no way we could stop any quicker," said driver Julie Lucas of Blakely.

Lucas told Newswatch 16 she was coming from a doctor's appointment when she saw brake lights on the SUV ahead of her.

"I'm trying to brake. I couldn't brake enough, as I was trying to swerve to avoid him I saw this car coming towards us. She was kind of more on the side of the road. And I kind of swerved to get off the road... and then the poor girl behind me just plowed right in to me," she said.

The drivers who were involved in the crash verified what troopers found on a witness dash cam. The wrong way car was a silver Pontiac, the driver an elderly woman.

State troopers said the driver got onto the highway using the exit 182 off-ramp along Montage Mountain Road in Moosic.  The ramp is marked with two "wrong way" signs and two "do not enter" signs.

Witnesses also told police the driver did a k-turn in the middle of the Interstate and continued in the right direction - north. Troopers are now looking for the silver Pontiac.

The drivers in its wake, are breathing a sigh of relief.

"I see when it happens in the middle of the night you may not realize it, this is the middle of the day. But, thank God, thank God I'm alive, that's all that matters," Lucas added.

Anyone with information about the wrong way car is asked to call state police in Dunmore.

Get real-time traffic information with the WNEP Traffic Tracker.


  • DB

    I’m not going to say old people shouldn’t drive, but I will say that any incident such as this should mean immediate revocation of drivers license permanently. I’ve had enough of the crap-talk coddling with stuff like, “Ohhh, but driving is their livelihood, their independence, don’t take that away from them!” BULLCRAP. Wrecking other people’s cars, and for all we know, their lives, needs a course of action, and that action is revocation of their drivers licenses. First offense is last offense. Starting at 70.

    • short sighted

      Absolutely, lets not stop there, anyone DUI, blows a stop sign or red light, hits a school bus, under the influence of drugs, texting, talking on the cell phone, following too close to stop, “ohhh but that`s their livelihood, they`ve got kids to get to school, bullcrap wrecking other peoples cars taking human lives even children. Permanent revocation. Lets go all the way, any age any sex anybody. The damage is the same, the lives are the same, I`m with you. No discrimination with that.

  • Jd

    So the driver had to get on an off ramp somewhere. Why doesn’t somebody come up with a design for imbedded tire flatteners so if you try to enter the wrong way you get flat tires before you get too far? Flat tire, problem solved

  • tired old guy

    Anyone ever hear of tailgating or how about leaving enough room to stop if something happens in front of you? People have this “get out of my way, I am in a hurry attitude” and run right up and push the car in front of them. Blame it on age, poor design of the highway, poor signage, improper lighting anything but for heavens sake do not take responsibility for your own stupid actions. Typical of today`s “it`s not my fault” society. Penna. law used to read that you were required to leave enough distance in order to stop in a hurry and you must have your vehicle under control, in fact it used to be that if you rear ended someone you were automatically ticketed. I guess they changed all that.

  • Matthew

    Old idiots and drunks … that’s why this area has so many wrong way drivers. It’s not signs or poor ramp design. Let’s look at the drivers every time this happens. Only in this area.

    • Jd

      I don’t know if you’re an idiot, and I don’t know if you’re a drunk, but I do know that someday you’ll be old. Bet you’ll think twice about older citizens someday.

      • Matthew

        And I’ll be the first to cash in on my free bus riding privileges! I hate driving, mainly for the reason there are people on the roads that shouldn’t be. :-)

  • Bill K

    Ahhh, it’s wrong-way driver season again! We went without a wrong-way driver on I-81 for so long. Must be the season again.

  • Jennifer

    Then neither should men, considering a male driver did the same thing on 81 in February. Also, did you seriously use the name of the mass shooter who killed 13 people in Wilkes-Barre in 1982 as your username to use the laziest sexist insult known to man? Really?

      • Pooks

        William, your first problem is you shouldn’t be driving in rings unless you are on the roundabout near the airport. So maybe its time to turn in that license of yours.

      • Bill K

        Warren, I think 72 is a good age to stop. That’s when I’m planning on shredding my license. I’ll be retired. So I’ll have less of a need to drive anywhere. I’m fine paying someone to drive me wherever I need for the few times a week I need to go anywhere.

  • OMG, another one

    HONESTLY, HOW DOES THIS EVEN HAPPEN?? I don’t care if you’re not even from the area, this is a SIMPLE AREA with a LOW speed limit. HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING??
    Obviously we need MORE SIGNS, BIGGER SIGNS!! People really need to PAY ATTENTION…I passed a guy the other day that turned around in the middle of an off ramp because he didn’t want to get off that one..so the tard turned around in the middle of the exit. These folks should get the utmost fine and have their license taken away for a few months.

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