Scranton Man Killed in Wrong-way Crash on Turnpike in Carbon County

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PARRYVILLE, Pa. -- A driver from Scranton was killed in a wrong-way crash on the turnpike in Carbon County.

It happened just before midnight Tuesday on I-476 at mile marker 75 near the Mahoning Valley interchange.

Police say Joseph Persico, 68, of Shavertown, was traveling south in the northbound lane when he crashed into a car driven by Paul Gerrity, 50, of Scranton.

The Carbon County coroner said Gerrity died at the scene.

Persico was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

Another driver in a third vehicle was also injured in the wreck.

Investigators still have not said how the driver got onto the Turnpike the wrong way, but many people we spoke with say they can't wrap their heads around this fatal crash because of how hard it would be to enter the Turnpike on the wrong side.

You would have to completely cut off the other side of traffic and go all the way to the left on to the exit ramp and go completely around," said Jeff Thomas of Jim Thorpe.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission say it's rare to have wrong-way drivers and wrong-way crashes on the Turnpike.

"Never. I used to take the Turnpike every day for work. I've never been in a situation like that. I've never heard of a situation like that. I never heard of someone getting in the wrong lane," said Thomas.

"It's not easy to get through a toll booth without realizing you're going the wrong way, I would think," said Brenda Winterborne of Philadelphia.


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