Another group of BGSU students saw fatal crash happen
Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:10:55 GMT —
What was supposed to the beginning of spring break for students at BGSU was cut short for 3 sorority sisters and another driver along I-75 early Friday morning.
20-year-old Rebekah Blakkolb, 19-year-old Christina Goyett and 21-year-old Sarah Hammond all of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority were pronounced dead at the scene along with 69-year-old Winifred Lein of Perrysburg.
Authorities say multiple drivers called 911, around 2 a.m., to report seeing Lein's vehicle driving the wrong way.
According to Lt. Dean Laubacher from the Bowling Green post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, a trooper first spotted Lein's vehicle at mile marker 192, but was unable to stop her before the crash at mile marker 187.
"Trooper Filmore received a report of a wrong way driver, he pulled out to pursue it and in the process it passed him and within seconds it crashed," Lt. Laubacher said.
Another two Alpha Xi Delta sorority sisters, 19-year-old Angelica Mormile and 19-year-old Kayla Somoles, were also critically injured in the crash.
Officials say an additional 5 Alpha Xi Delta sorority members, traveling in another vehicle, and narrowly missed being injured in a similar crash.
Lt. Laubacher says those women were driving in a vehicle ahead of the car involved in the crash, but saw the accident happen.
After brief interviews, the 5 witnesses were sent back to the sorority house at BGSU where they were met by grief counselors.
"They were pretty shaken upâ?¦ we did not want them at the scene," Laubacher said.
According to school officials the sorority has more than 60 active members.
A noon mass was held just hours late, on campus, to help all BGSU students deal with the loss.
"We are reminded, in these times, that life is very precious and so on behalf of the board of trustees, the students, faculty and staff of BGSU we are thinking about the family and friends of the 3 women that had such great promise and were so involved in our community. And we are thinking about the 2 additional women we wish them the very best recovery," Senior VP for Academic Affairs at BGSU Rodney Rogers said.
During a press conference, Friday afternoon, investigators said they did not know if alcohol played a role in the crash but believe Lein was heading home after work at Jeep's Toledo North Assembly Complex.
While officials will be using whatever information they can get from the vehicles involved in the crash, they fear some evidence may have been lost.
"The entire inside of the car was burned," Laubacher said.
OHP officials do know that all but two of the sorority sisters, who were in the back seat, were wearing their seatbelts.
Lein is also believed to have been wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.