SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A Lake Ariel man is facing charges after a wrong-way crash early Saturday morning that killed four people in Lackawanna County.
The suspect remains in the hospital at this hour.
There is where he was arraigned from his bed around 2:30 PM.
The wrong-way driver has been identified as Gennadiy Manannikov.
State police say his vehicle hit another car with five people inside of it. They were all family members and three of the people were killed.
A woman who was also in the suspect’s vehicle also died.
“Our office and state police didn’t think this was something that should wait,” Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon said.
Scanlon was at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton Monday afternoon as homicide by vehicle and other charges were filed against the wrong-way driver.
“There’s actually a video tape of a good portion of this incident of the vehicle traveling northbound in the southbound lanes,” Scanlon said.
Court documents indicate the suspect may have been under the influence, although no formal DUI charges have been filed at this time.
Troopers say they could smell alcohol on the suspect and the 28-year-old had slurred speech and glossy eyes.
“It’s very scary. I, myself, I drive a lot,” Larry Spegar of Jessup said.
Investigators have not said where they think Manannikov may have gotten on Interstate 81, the wrong-way, but they think he may have been driving that way for several miles and may have passed at least nine other vehicles.
This is the third wrong-way crash in Lackawanna County since October.
In October, a man was killed in another wrong-way wreck in the Dunmore-area.
In December, a man was hurt in a wrong-way wreck with a tractor trailer in Moosic.
Given what has happened, PennDOT has implemented a “Wrong Way Crash Initiative Review” to look into all of their signage.
“We’re going out and looking at all of the ramps across the district to see if there is anything that we can change, anything that we can improve,” PennDOT Spokesman James May said.
As of right now, no DUI charges have been filed but DA Scanlon expects more charges to be filed after blood tests come back.
Manannikov remains in the hospital in fair condition.
When he is released he will be taken to prison on $500,000 bail.