1,500 attend memorial for BGSU crash victims


BOWLING GREEN-- More than 1,500 people gathered on the lawn at Bowling Green State University Friday night to honor the memories of, and say good-bye to three sorority sisters who died earlier this month in a two-vehicle crash involving a wrong-way driver.

Sarah Hammond of Yellow Springs, Ohio; Rebekah Blakkolb, of Aurora, Ohio, and Christina Goyett, of Bay City, Mich., and all members of the Alpha Xi Delta house on campus, died in the March 2 collision on I-75.

During an hour-long memorial service in front of University Hall, family members, friends and university officials spoke of the devastation, of the loss, but also spoke of family vacations and particular habits of each of the girls that would now be precious memories.

Renny Blakkolb, Ms. Blakkolb’s father, spoke appreciatively of the family vacation they were able to take several years ago to Myrtle Beach.

“Dont take your life for granted. Tell your mom and dad, and brothers and sisters and friends, how much you love them,” he told the crowd.

Other speakers included other family members of the three victims, BGSU president Mary Ellen Mazey, dean of college of education and human development, Brad Colwell; professor emeritus of English, Tom Klein, and Julie Rego, president of the sorority.

The service concluded with a candlelight procession to the sorority house and a balloon release.

The young women were on their way to Detroit Metropolitan Airport to catch a 5:30 a.m. flight to the Dominican Republic for a spring-break vacation when their car was struck head on by a southbound car driven by Winifred “Dawn” Lein, 69, of Perrysburg Township. Lein also was killed in the crash.

Kayla Somoles, 19, of Parma, Ohio, and Angelica Mormile, 19, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, also passengers in the vehicle of students, survived the collision.