BUFFALO, OHIO — The Ohio Highway Patrol has identified the motorists killed in a head-on collision on Interstate 77 early Thursday morning as Shelby L. Farkas, 54, of Lower Salem, and Megan C. Dunaway, 33, of Newark, who reportedly caused the crash by driving the wrong way on the interstate.
Farkas was pronounced dead at the scene while Dunaway succumbed to her injuries at Southeastern Med in Cambridge, where she had been transported by United Ambulance.
A passenger in a vehicle involved in a second accident minutes later at the same location on I-77 suffered serious injuries and was flown from the scene by MedFlight to Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. The patrol identified her as Michelle L. Carr, 53, of Belpre.
Carr was a rear seat passenger in the northbound vehicle. No additional information regarding her condition was available as of press time.
The driver of the 2008 Mazda in which Carr was riding, identified as Elizabeth C. Blazosky, 41, of Washington, West Virginia, and a second passenger, Amy J. Johnson, 25, of Marietta, suffered minor injuries and were treated at Southeastern Med after being transported to the Cambridge hospital by United Ambulance.
The 1999 Peterbilt truck struck by the Blazosky vehicle was unoccupied.
According to the highway patrol, Dunaway was driving a 2007 Chrysler minivan south in the northbound lanes of I-77 at approximately 3:35 a.m. when she struck the 2009 Mazda driven by Farkas head-on near mile post 36, south of the Guernsey-Noble county line.
Farkas was extricated from the heavily-damaged Mazda by firefighters and medical personnel. The Noble County Coroner’s Office assisted with the investigation at the scene and Farkas was transported to Chandler Funeral Home in Caldwell.
A passenger, Adam N. Schilling, 18, of Beverly, was transported by United Ambulance to Southeastern Med, where he was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, according to the patrol.
Dunaway, Farkas and Schilling were all wearing safety belts.
The second accident just minutes later occurred when Blazosky lost control of the 2008 Mazda she was driving after it struck a piece of debris on the roadway from the first accident.
The Mazda traveled off the side of the highway and struck the parked Peterbilt truck owned by SmithFoods of Orrville. The driver of the truck had stopped on the berm to help at the initial accident scene.
The Mazda driven by Blazosky and the truck sustained moderate to heavy damage. The patrol reported all occupants of the car were wearing safety belts.
Noble County sheriff’s deputies and Ohio Department of Transportation crews assisted with traffic control while the northbound lanes of I-77 were closed for several hours after the accident. The highway re-opened to traffic at 7:50 a.m.
The Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on I-77 just minutes before the accident was reported to the Noble County Sheriff’s Office.