Chain-Reaction Car Crash Kills 3 In Ohio

A sport utility vehicle hit another SUV stopped at a red light, starting a chain-reaction crash of nine vehicles and killing all three people inside a sedan, the State Highway Patrol said Friday. Four drivers, including the SUV driver who the patrol said started the crash about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, were taken to hospitals. Seven others involved in the accident near this western Ohio city were not hurt, officials said. WHIO

A sport utility vehicle hit another SUV stopped at a red light, went airborne and landed on a car, killing three Chinese college students inside, authorities said Friday.

The crash involved nine vehicles. Four drivers, including the SUV driver who the State Highway Patrol said started the crash about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, were taken to hospitals. Seven others involved in the crash in this western Ohio city were not injured, officials said.

Investigators were trying to determine why the SUV driver did not stop as he approached the light, where northbound vehicles were waiting in two lanes for the light to change, Trooper Grady Coblentz said.

The man told investigators that he has epilepsy and hadn't suffered a seizure for some time, Coblentz said.

After hitting one vehicle, the SUV went airborne and landed on the back of a sedan, killing the two women in the back seat, Bing Xue, 24, and Yan Sun, 24, and the driver, Jin Bian, 27, Coblentz said. All were from Dalian City.

The three arrived at Urbana University in March 2006 and were seeking master's degrees in business administration, said school President Robert Head. He said they were among 30 students from China studying at the university.

The SUV driver was in good condition and another driver was in fair condition Friday at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Two other drivers were treated at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield and released, according to nursing supervisors.

Head said the students lived in the same off-campus apartment complex. The school is on spring break this week, but officials called in counselors to help students who remained on campus. He said a memorial service will be held next week and a permanent memorial to the students may be placed on campus.

"These folks are very, very important to our community," Head said. "Having these students from China in our graduate program was not only meaningful to them, but also to the students who interacted with them."

Urbana University is a private liberal-arts school with about 1,600 students north of Springfield. Springfield is about 25 miles northeast of Dayton.
  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.

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