Daughter says wrong-way driver had health problems

The wrong-way driver in a deadly crash that killed three sorority sisters on Interstate 75 in Ohio had medical issues and was not a drinker, her daughter told authorities in state patrol records released Friday.
Associated Press
Mar 9, 2012

The wrong-way driver in a deadly crash that killed three sorority sisters on Interstate 75 in Ohio had medical issues and was not a drinker, her daughter told authorities in state patrol records released Friday.

 Charmaine Lein did not offer details about her mother's health problems, but a witness to the crash said the wrong-way driver was going at least 75 mph and never swerved to miss cars, the records said.

"I was going 75 mph and she was pulling away from me," Volker Kock, a Canadian military medic who kept up with the driver on the other side of the interstate for several miles before the crash, told investigators in a statement.

The State Highway Patrol said Winifred Lein, 69, was driving south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 when she crashed head-on into a car of Bowling Green State University sorority members on their way to a spring break trip. The crash killed Lein and three of the students and seriously wounded two others.

A second car of Bowling Green students caravanning with their sorority sisters and driving two to three car lengths ahead swerved in time to miss Lein, according to the records released Friday.

Kock, of Borden, Ontario, told investigators that as Lein drove, several trucks flashed their lights at her. He declined to comment Friday, referring questions to a military spokeswoman who said she would pass questions along to Kock by email.

Video of the crash released this week shows Kock arriving at the crash scene shortly after a state trooper and working with them to put out a fire in the students' car and try to free the survivors.

Lein had left work less than 30 minutes before police received the first 911 call about the car, the patrol said.

The patrol's Bowling Green post also said it's still investigating where Lein got on Interstate 75 and how fast she was going.

The post said Lein, of Perrysburg, checked into her job at Toledo's Jeep plant at 5:52 p.m. on March 1 and left the plant at 1:47 a.m. the following day.

The Jeep highway exit is at mile marker 205, or 19 miles from the mile marker where a trooper spotted the car just seconds before the crash. That leaves just 10 minutes of Lein's time unaccounted for, said Lt. D.W. Laubacher of the Bowling Green post.

The patrol says no businesses around I-75 said they saw Lein before the crash.

"The question is, what happened between the time she pulled out and the time the crash happened," Laubacher said.

A security guard who checked Lein out of the Jeep plant told the patrol she seemed fine as she left.

The first 911 call about a wrong-way driver came at 2:14 a.m., two minutes before a trooper spied the car on the highway, which was just seconds before the crash.

Video of the dashboard camera in trooper P.R. Mohre's car shows the officer switching lanes to avoid the on-coming car, then turning around to chase Lein's car.

The patrol continues to investigate where Lein got on the highway.

Lein's car struck a car carrying five Alpha Xi Delta members as they caravanned with other sorority sisters in separate cars to the Detroit airport for a trip to a Dominican Republic resort.

Students killed in the crash were Sarah Hammond, 21, of Yellow Springs; Rebekah Blakkolb, 20, of Aurora; and Christina Goyett, 19, of Bay City, Mich.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

gene44870

This just goes to show everyone that a lot off accidents are cause by older People and the state needs to takea good hard look into this , cause a lot of older people dont like the idea that they may have reach the age when they should wander if they are able to drive safely and the state needs to look at these people and make sure that they are able to drive safely .I know a lot of older folks dont want to admit that they are having problems and dont want to give up something that they have done for many years and to be honest with yea , I know I wouldnt either . But if I know that I am not able to drive like I did or in a safe manner that I once did . then I would be the first to stop , I would not want to know that because I dont want to admit it and maybe kill someone , well lets just say I ouldnt bare the thought of it .I would rather stop driving and now that I didnt play a part in someones death

And now its time for the state to step up and say that they are going to purpose a plan to do something .

grandmasgirl

Gene: Please copy your comment and read it back to yourself when you hit 69. I admit that some people need to have their license taken away. However, this includes all age groups. If you look back, in the last two or three weeks, the majority of accidents involve people in their middle age or younger. The family of these young girls have my sympathy, as would anyone who had a loved one killed in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Sue Meredith

Isn't it ironic that it's only when an accident involves a  senior citizens that people start saying that the state needs to step in? Statistics show that drivers under 30 are more apt to be in an accident than a driver who is 60. That is why drivers under 30 pay a higher insurance premium. And no matter what the age, anyone can have a medical condtion that might impair their driving and sometimes not be aware that the condition even exits.

My prayers go out to the families of ALL of the victims of this horrible accident

princedenny

Gene,

Until you learn how to spell, use proper English, and understand the rules of punctuation...I suggest you stop throwing stiones.  Someone with your questionable level of intelligence should submit to a variety of tests on a daily basis.  I'd be surprised if you could read/understand the street signs.

Captain Gutz

princedenny,

"stupid idiots" as opposed to? Additionally, shouldn't it be "loud-mouthed"?

LabMan

Captain you missed "stiones"

Bluto

I thought Gene just had a funny accent . Now that the grammar lesson is over , this is just a tragic accident that could happen to anyone . Condolences to all the families involved

Home Boy

..........and in the case of "GENE", there's a saying that goes something like, "it's better not to open your mouth, and have people think you're an idiot rather than to open it, and leave no doubt". Probably pushed out of high school.

samiam

re: princedenny and home boy: and others are just arrogant idiots!  DId it make you and home boy feel better to attack someone on here?  Always heard that people with low self esteem will ridicule and verbally abuse others to make themselves feel better.

Katelih-Trailer...

 After reading the comments, I totally forgot what the STORY is...Oh well, you folks always keep me lmao...Thanks !

Informed

If this daughter knew that her mother had a medical issue that could possibly interfere with her driving abilities, then why on earth did her family allow her to continue to drive.  I hope this daughter can sleep at night.  It's just as bad as a woman I know who has Alzheimer's, yet her husband still lets her drive.  The woman doesn't even know what's going on around her half the time.  Scary.

starryeyes83

The daughter's not to blame you just can't take keys .     Some older drivers are very careful and never have a problem.   Texters, teens and  drunks  and cell phone users are much worse.

And have you ever paid attention on  the  "placement"  of  wrong way signs.  If they're anthing like over  on the Fremont exits,  they are very close to the lane your in even if you are in the right on the cloverleaf.   So you really can't tell  which lane the sign is referring to.  

FYI:  I'm under  50.

tk

If this is the route she normally took to and from work, then she should have been aware of where the entrance and exit ramps are.  My sympathy goes to the families of these young women.

wiredmama222

I will turn 62 this year, and I have to tell you I would GLADLY take a driving test every year.  I do not know if I could live with myself if I killed another person while driving. 

I am not being noble or anything, but after a certain age, you may think your driving is good, but unless someone else objectively says it is, you do not know for sure.  You family may not be the best equipped to tell you either. 

I have NO objection to those over 60 being tested every two years or even every year if necessary.  Your reflexes slow down, your vision is gets worse, especially nite vision. 

Nope, no objections here.  Not if it means someone lives because I am not capable of driving and stubbornly try to stick to my keys when I shouldn't.  If I can't drive well, then take them. 

That's why God invented taxi cabs.  LOL 

Home Boy

SAMIAM....so I guess that makes you and me even now, huh? Funny how it's OK for you. Just sayin.

 

samiam

Yep, if it's good for the goose...

Home Boy

SAMIAM...guess what?? Ahh, can't say it here, but I think you know.

 

Home Boy

....and I won't even be checking back. Honest.