October 25, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy with showers
62°F
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Police say wrong-way driver caused crash in Elyria

ELYRIA — Traveling in the one-way lanes on state Route 113 on Tuesday night, driver Gina Pignotti saw headlights coming at her from the opposite direction and slammed on the brakes.

CT photo by Evan Goodenow.

CT photo by Evan Goodenow.

“Then the Jeep flew up in the air,” said Pignotti, 20, of Amherst, as she sat in her car near a wrecked Jeep lying on its side and a demolished Chrysler Sebring it collided with around 10:50 p.m. “Seeing headlights was very scary for me.”

Police believe a wrong-way driver caused the crash that Pignotti witnessed but were unsure Tuesday night if it was the Jeep driver or the Sebring driver. Both suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Elyria resident Cecilia Fussi, 56, the Sebring’s driver, was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition. Police did not release the name of the Jeep driver who was taken to EMH Medical Center in Elyria.

The collision demolished the passenger side of the Sebring, knocking it about 20 yards west of the jeep into a guardrail. The crash occurred between Lake Avenue and state Route 57 and shutdown both lanes for about two hours.

Pignotti said the Jeep driver walked around the crash scene shortly after the accident. He apparently crawled through the canvas roof of the jeep.

Pignotti said the man was screaming at Fussi, but Pignotti couldn’t hear what he was saying.

“The lady was telling him, ‘You need to calm down,’” Pignotti said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.