NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (WPRI) — Three Rhode Islanders have died and three others were injured after a serious wrong-way crash in North Stonington, Conn. Wednesday night.
According to the police report, the two-car crash occurred around 8 p.m. on I-95 North between Exits 92 and 93, just over the Rhode Island border.
Abigayl Lanphear, 17, of Westerly, and her passenger Jada Laboy, 17, also of Westerly, were traveling the wrong way on I-95 and hit another vehicle head-on, according to the report.
Police said Lanphear died as a result of her injuries and Laboy was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries. Police said neither were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Connecticut State Police said two of the people in the other vehicle – Roger Noel, 85, and Dorothy Noel, 83, both of West Warwick – died from their injuries.
Two passengers in the vehicle – identified as Yvonne Noel, 56, of West Kingston, and Cynthia Plaziak, 62, were both taken to the hospital with injuries. Yvonne Noel’s injuries were said to be serious, while Plaziak’s injuries were described as minor.
Westerly High School Principal Michael Hobin sent an email to parents regarding the crash.
“While [Lanphear] was not currently a WHS student, I am certain that she had friends at WHS and in the larger community. Additionally, any loss may be a trigger for others who have suffered loss in their lives, especially young adults. Please know that our guidance and support staff is prepared to support your son/daughter in any way possible today and in the days to come.”— Michael Hobin, Westerly High School Principal
The crash remains under investigation.
It’s still unclear how Lanphear ended up driving on the wrong side of the highway, but the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) said they just finished making the ramps safer.
“We’ve upgraded each and every ramp in the state of Connecticut, so that’s some 700 ramps, that we completely replaced and upgraded all of the warning signage that would alert a motorist that they would be traveling in the wrong direction,” CDOT Spokesperson Kevin Nursick said.
Nursick said each ramp in Connecticut has at least six warning signs alerting drivers they’re going the wrong way.