‘Total shock’: Victims speak out after fatal wrong-way crash on I-376 in Beaver County

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — A family is mourning the loss of 60-year-old Lorie Thomas of Aliquippa who died in Friday night’s crash in Beaver County.

State police said 42-year-old Michael Pucci was driving the wrong way on Interstate 376 when he hit two cars, killing Thomas. Her family can’t believe she’s gone.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE >> Woman killed, 2 others seriously injured in wrong-way crash on I-376 in Beaver County

“Just super sad because she was a big part of my childhood and she always there for literally everything every birthday party, every event,” said Allie Thomas, Thomas’ niece. “We are in total shock, still kind of shocked.”

Thomas was in the passenger seat while her friend, Christine McClure was driving. McClure was seriously hurt and was taken to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the family in the other car hit was not hurt luckily. The parents said they were heading home from a 40th birthday party with their son when they got clipped, causing their car to spin backwards and then hit the median.

“We literally came a half second from being a head on collision,” said Earl Travis.

Travis said it happened so fast.

“We were all just shaken because it was just so traumatic. We can’t believe it happened and when we got out I was walking up and down the road going, ‘Thank you God, Thank you God,’ because it’s just the scariest thing that’s ever happened,” said Eileen Travis.

State police said they found an opened alcoholic drink on the driver’s side floor of Pucci’s car which also smelled like alcohol. Pucci was hurt and taken to UPMC Presby. Police got a warrant to draw his blood.

At last check, no charges have been filed against Pucci.

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