Five Bowling Green State University students about to begin their spring break trip were struck head-on by a wong-way driver along I-75 early Friday, killing three in their car and the other driver.
Just two minutes before the crash, the Bowling Green Highway Patrol post received 911 calls about a Plymouth Breeze traveling southbound in the northbound lanes. As troopers attempted to locate the vehicle, the driver struck a Pontiac Grand Prix head-on and burst into flames.
The driver of the Breeze, 69-year-old Winifred Lein of Perrysburg, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Driver of the Grand Prix, 19-year-old sophomore Christina Goyett, and left rear passenger, 21-year-old junior Sarah Hammond, were pronounced dead at the scene. Rebekah Blakkolb, a 20-year-old junior, was transported to University of Toledo Medical Center where she later died from her injuries.
Right rear passenger, 19-year-old sophomore Kayla Somoles, and front seat passenger, 19-year-old freshman Angelica Mormile, both received incapacitating injuries and were taken to Mercy St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo.
The students were said to be part of a group of seven on their way to Detroit Metro Airport for a flight to their spring break destination.
Lein, Goyett and Mormile were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Blakkolb and Somoles were not wearing seat belts. It is unknown if Hammond was wearing a restraint at the time of the crash.
"We're shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news," said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey. "Our hearts go out to the families, friends and sorority sisters of these young women."
All five women were members of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority on campus. The university is offering grief counseling at the BGSU Counseling Center until 5 p.m. on Friday. Anyone needing after hours assistance can contact the Link at (419)-352-1545.
The incident comes almost 10 years after six BGSU students died in a traffic crash during spring break in Kentucky.