Wrong-way driver on I-75 near Bowling Green did not have intoxicants

Mystery of fatal crash on I-75 may remain

5/18/2012
BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Christina Goyette, Sarah Hammond, and Rebekah Blakkolb, all BGSU students, were killed in the crash that killed Winifred 'Dawn' Lein.
Christina Goyette, Sarah Hammond, and Rebekah Blakkolb, all BGSU students, were killed in the crash that killed Winifred 'Dawn' Lein.

BOWLING GREEN -- The wrong-way driver whose actions resulted in her death and the death of three Bowling Green State University students had no alcohol or drugs in her system at the time of the March 2 crash.

Wood County Coroner Dr. Douglas Hess said Thursday that Winifred "Dawn" Lein died accidentally from blunt-force trauma. Just why she was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-75 may remain a mystery, he said.

"Unfortunately we don't have anything that caused her to have done this," Dr. Hess said. "I think she just somehow had gotten confused coming home at night. The only evidence we have is she had left work and was driving home."

Lein, 69, who worked in a contract capacity at the Toledo Jeep Assembly complex, had left the plant at 1:47 a.m. Shortly after 2 a.m., motorists on I-75 near Perrysburg began calling 911 to report a wrong-way driver heading south toward Bowling Green in the northbound lanes of the divided highway.

About 2:15 a.m., Lein struck a northbound car driven by Christina Goyette, 19, of Bay City, Mich.

Ms. Goyette was killed along with two of her passengers, Sarah Hammond, 21, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Rebekah Blakkolb, 20, of Aurora, Ohio. Two other BGSU students in Ms. Goyette's car -- Kayla Somoles, 19, of Parma, Ohio, and Angelica Mormile, 19, of Garfield Heights, Ohio -- were seriously hurt but are recovering.

The young women, all of whom were members of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, were on their way to Detroit Metro Airport to catch an early morning flight to the Dominican Republic for spring break.

Dr. Hess said Lein took medication for a seizure disorder. Toxicology testing showed she had an appropriate level of that medication in her system when she died.

The coroner said he did not believe Lein was having a seizure at the time the crash occurred.

"I can't imagine someone being able to drive, to travel the highway, having a seizure," he said. "It appeared she was driving fine, but for whatever reason, she got on in the wrong direction" and continued driving, perhaps thinking she was on a two-lane highway.

"We don't have a good reason for it," the coroner said.