BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) - Three Bowling Green State University students were killed in a tragic car accident in the early morning hours of Friday, March 2. The three were part of a group of sorority sisters headed to spring break vacation. The crash was caused by a wrong-way driver on I-75 just north of Bowling Green.
The women were on their way to the Dominican Republic for spring break with a group of their Alpha Xi Delta sorority sisters. They never made it to the airport. About 10 minutes from campus, at 2:15 a.m., a wrong-way driver hit them head-on on I-75 killing herself, and three of the women.
The three women who died were:
• Rebekah Blakkolb, 20, of Aurora, OH, a junior in the College of Education and Human Development.
• Christina Goyett, 19, of Bay City, MI, a sophomore in the College of Education and Human Development.
• Sarah Hammond, 21, of Yellow Springs, OH, a junior in the College of Education and Human Development.
Kayla Somoles, 19, of Cleveland, OH, and Angelica Moremile, 19, of Garfield Heights, OH, were rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. Doctors were not sure if either girl would survive.
"I am fortunate. It's just crazy to think what would've happened if I'd been in another seat, but I was meant to be there and I had someone watching over me. So I'm very grateful," said Somoles.
Somoles and Moremile have no memory of the accident that killed three of their sorority sisters on March 2, but they believe there were several angels watching over them when a wrong-way driver hit their car head-on that morning.
The group was traveling in two vehicles. The first driver swerved to avoid the wrong-way driver, then watched in horror as she crashed into their friends. They stopped to help and called 911.
"The other car full of girls, they are so strong because I can't imagine being in their shoes and seeing all that right there. So I just give them a ton of credit for being so strong for all of us and really coming through," said Moremile.
Somoles was grateful people were on the scene at the time they were.
"I don't know if I would be here. When I went in the ambulance, that's when everything went bad. I couldn't breathe. My lungs started filling with blood, needed the tube to breath, needed that medical attention. So I'm very grateful for every single person who was there that night," said Somoles.
Somoles broke every bone in her face, along with her wrist, hip and back. Moremile had a brain injury, and broke her neck, jaw, wrist and leg.
Hospitalized for weeks, the girls were overwhelmed by the love and support they received not only from their Alpha Xi Delta sisters, but from the entire BGSU community, which held a vigil to remember the girls who died and offer strength to those who survived.
"People that didn't even personally know the five of us girls, still, they came together as a university, as one and supported us so much," said Moremile. "Just knowing that I had so many people behind me throughout the whole recovery process was just a big help and I don't know if I could have come this far without it."
They also suffered the emotional pain of losing their sisters. Blakkolb, Goyett, and Hammond became their inspiration to get well. Somoles and Moremile pushed themselves to recover in a matter of weeks.
"I never gave up. I never gave pity to myself and my house director asked me what my proudest moment was and I said, 'The day I started walking again,'" said Somoles.
Moremile and Somoles call their recovery a blessing. Some call it a miracle. They absolutely believe they now have three special angels who helped make it happen.
"I always know the girls are watching over me. They'd want what's best for us, to be back here. I have their picture in my room. Not a day goes by I don't think of them," said Somoles.
Moremile has learned to appreciate every day she is alive.
"You have to appreciate the little things in life because they can be taken from you in an instant. For Kayla and me, that happened. We lost three of our sisters. So I have learned that there's not a day that goes by that I'm not appreciative and grateful for my life," Moremile said.
Returning to school was emotional for Somoles and Moremile, who say living in the Alpha Xi Delta house makes them feel closer to their lost sisters and gives them strength.
"We're all pretty open about talking about it. We all love to talk about our memories with them. That's the best way we get through it, talking about all the good times we had. We should talk about them. They were meant to be remembered. We remember their lives. They all lived good, happy lives," said Somoles.
"It's such a blessing and a miracle. Kayla and I have a purpose for being here, a second chance, and God wanted that for us. I do believe that people were watching down on Kayla and I that night and took us under their wing. And I know the girls every day are looking down on us and I have gotten stronger in my faith and will continue to get stronger," said Moremile.
Don't miss the exclusive interview tonight at 5 and 6 on WTOL 11.
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