BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — A vehicle that had traveled the wrong way for several miles on an Ohio interstate slammed head-on Friday into a car full of sorority sisters traveling to an airport for a spring break trip to the Dominican Republic, killing three of the young women and the other driver.
The car carrying the three Alpha Xi Delta members, ages 19 to 21, and two other sorority sisters hit the wrong-way vehicle overnight on a rise in Interstate 75 south of Toledo, just miles from Bowling Green State University, which they all attended. The two survivors were seriously injured.
Sixteen sorority sisters were heading to the Detroit airport in different cars as they tried to make a 5:30 a.m. flight, a friend said. Another vehicle carrying five of the students narrowly avoided the wrong-way driver, Ohio state troopers said.
"I don't think the college girls ever saw it coming. Nothing they could have done to avoid the crash," Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said.
The wrong-way driver, Winifred D. Lein, 69, of Perrysburg, Ohio, was traveling alone and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Investigators are looking into why she was driving on the wrong side of the divided highway, and 911 and police radio traffic indicate she had been heading the wrong direction for at least seven miles.
The accident happened around 2:30 a.m. Truckers had reported the wrong-way driver, and a state highway patrol officer had seen her car and begun a pursuit when the crash happened on the highway, which is divided by a wide, raised grassy median.
Killed were Rebekah Blakkolb, 20, a junior from Aurora, Ohio; Christina Goyett, 19, a sophomore from Bay City, Mich., who was studying teacher education; and Sarah Hammond, 21, a junior from Yellow Springs, Ohio, majoring in apparel merchandising, the university said.