CALDWELL — A resident returning to a Woodsfield nursing home was one of two people killed in a head-on collision Thursday evening on Route 78 in Noble County.

David Phillips, 79, of Woodsfield, was pronounced dead at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center in Cambridge. Also pronounced dead at the hospital was Benjamin Larsen, 43, of Ripley, West Virginia.

Larsen was driving the vehicle that collided with a van transporting Phillips back to the Arbors at Woodsfield nursing home from an appointment in Columbus.

The injured van driver, Paula Eikleberry, 55, of Woodsfield, and Phillips’ wife, Patricia, 74, also of Woodsfield, remained in “stable” condition at Southeastern Med, according to a nursing supervisor. The extent of their injuries was not known, although the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported both suffered minor injuries.

According to the patrol, Larsen was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu west on Route 78 in Center Township at approximately 6:12 p.m. when he crossed the centerline and struck an eastbound 2015 Ram van driven by Eikleberry. None of the occupants of the two vehicles were trapped or ejected from the heavily-damaged vehicles.

The crash was the second fatal accident in Noble County in less than 24 hours.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. Thursday, a head-on collision involving a wrong-way driver on Interstate 77 claimed the lives of Shelby L. Farkas, 56, of Lower Salem, and Megan C. Dunaway, 33, of Newark.

A 2007 Chrysler minivan driven by Dunaway was traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-77 when it struck a 2009 Mazda driven by Farkas head-on. Farkas was pronounced dead at the scene while Dunaway died at Southeastern Med.

A passenger in the Farkas vehicle, Adam N. Schilling, 18, of Beverly, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries and was treated at Southeastern Med.

Debris from the head-on collision was a factor in a second accident Thursday morning at the same location just minutes after the initial collision. A 2008 Mazda driven by Elizabeth C. Blazosky, 41, of Washington, W.Va., traveled off the road and struck a parked 1999 Peterbilt truck when Blazosky lost control after striking the debris.

A rear-seat passenger, Michelle L. Carr, 53, of Belpre, suffered serious injuries and was flown by MedFlight helicopter from the scene to the Wexner Medical Center at the Ohio State University in Columbus. No additional information about her condition was available. Blazosky and a second passenger, Amy J. Johnson, 25, of Marietta, were transported by United to Southeastern Med for treatment of minor injuries. They were treated in the emergency department and released.

Both accidents remained under investigation by the patrol.