Nearly Six Months after Deadly Wrong-Way Crash, Waiting for Answers

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Nearly than six months after a deadly crash in Carbon County on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, we still don't know why one of the drivers was driving the wrong way.

There was one state police news release just after the crash claiming the wrong-way driver on the turnpike survived and a driver from Scranton, who was in his proper lane, died.

Nearly six months after the tragedy, police have still not completed their official report.

Paul Gerrity

Paul Gerrity was 50 when he died in the wreck on November 6. His only known picture, the one used for his obituary, is his high school graduation photo from the 1980s.

Jennifer Kelleher knew Paul Gerrity, a quiet man who lived alone at this home on Rockwell Avenue in north Scranton.

"We didn't see him much," Kelleher said. "He seemed to work, come home, go to bed, and get up and do it all over again."

Gerrity was killed November 6 in Carbon County as he was driving to his job as a toll taker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. His car was rammed head-on by a vehicle driven by a wrong-way driver on the northeast extension.

"As far as something being done about it, everybody deserves their justice," Joe Grenevicki said.

Attorney Joe Mariotti represented victims of a 2016 wrong-way crash on Interstate 81 in Lackawanna County. Mariotti says between follow-up interviews and toxicology tests, a death investigation can take time. He said generally, with a fatal crash investigation, six months is not a long time.

"It also could depend on if there's criminal charges being brought," Mariotti said.

Police have not charged alleged wrong-way driver Joseph Persico of Shavertown. Persico is a well-known real estate attorney in Luzerne County. Sources tell Newswatch 16 Persico was badly injured in the deadly wreck.

State police tell Newswatch 16, "This crash is still under active investigation. When additional information becomes available, a news release will be completed."

Those who live near Gerrity's old house want answers, and not for themselves. They want justice for a former neighbor they hardly knew.

"He deserves everything to be fair for him, too. We know he didn't do anything wrong," said Kelleher.

The neighborhood Gerrity left behind is changing. His home was sold in February and crews are preparing it for a new owner as its old owner and neighbor becomes a memory.

"It's a God-awful shame that anybody has to die like that," Grenevicki added.

State police say there is no timetable for wrapping up the investigation into the crash that killed Gerrity more than six months ago.

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