Three women were killed on Interstate 95 south in Old Lyme after their car was hit by a wrong-way driver, who appeared in court Thursday.
State police said the accident occurred near Exit 70 in the southbound lanes shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Police said the wrong-way driver, Frank Sundstrom, started heading northbound from southbound Exit 68 in Old Saybrook. He traveled about a mile and a half before colliding into the other car.
Tamara Nolin, 71, from Branford, Marjorie Minore, 90, from North Haven, and Barbara Prato, 63, from East Haven, were killed in the crash, according to police.
Family members of the three women said they were coming back from celebrating their birthdays.
Their families were contacted by Eyewitness News, but they were too distraught to comment.
When police arrived, Sundstrum, 52, was awake, but incoherent, according to court documents.
Sundstrom from Warwick, RI, was airlifted by a medical helicopter to Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven with serious injuries.
The crash kept the highway closed for several hours.
During a five-year period between 2007 and 2011 in Connecticut, there were 60 to 90 wrong-way crashes, and 18 of those were deadly.
During that same time frame on I-95 between Old Saybrook and the Rhode Island border, there have been four wrong-way crashes, with two being fatal.
Even though Eyewitness News found one sign missing, the Connecticut Department of Transportation told Eyewitness News that most all highway exits are well marked to alert drivers going the wrong way.
The DOT was looking into the mistake Eyewitness News found at Exit 68 to figure out why both sides of the exit aren't properly marked.
Officials at the DOT said their studies show the wrong-way crashes are random, sporadic and are typically caused by drunk drivers.
The crash remains under investigation by Connecticut State Police.
Anyone with any information about the crash is asked to call State Police at 860-399-2100.
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