East Longmeadow High remembers two graduates killed in wrong-way crash

East Longmeadow High remembers two graduates killed in wrong-way crash
Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We’re learning more about the wrong-way crash on I-91, just over the border in Windsor, CT overnight.

On Thursday, a horrifying two car crash claimed the lives of two 25-year-olds from East Longmeadow. Connecticut State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema told Western Mass News the details surrounding that accident.

“On 91 northbound, Troop H received numerous 911 calls of a vehicle that was traveling southbound in the northbound lane. That was around 12:30 this morning and shortly thereafter, Troop H was notified that the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision into a tractor-trailer,” Jeltema said.

The victims were identified as 25-year-olds Dominique Loiselle of Brighton and James Bowen of East Longmeadow. Both of them were in the same vehicle that was driving south on I-91 on the northbound side, in the wrong direction, when they hit a tractor-trailer heading north. We’ve obtained dash cam video taken a short time before the crash that showed the car driving in the wrong direction.

“The two individuals that were involved in the wrong way that were in the car, the driver and the passenger, both died at the scene upon impact our troopers responded and the highway was shut down for numerous hours to conduct their investigation,” Jeltema added.

We’ve learned Loiselle and Bowen both graduated from East Longmeadow High School in 2015. Frank Paige, the principal of East Longmeadow High School, shared a statement with Western Mass News on Friday that said, in part:

“I am so sad to learn about the tragic loss of Dominique and James. I remember both fondly from their years at ELHS. Dominique was a model and caring student who was respected by staff and peers. James was a vibrant and friendly student who lit up any room that he walked into. The entire Spartan community has both of their families in our thoughts and prayers.”

Jeltema told us they are urging people to be more careful on the roads

“We are encouraging people if they are driving out on the roads at night between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. to stay in that right lane of the highway. Wrong way drivers tend to utilize the left lane, thinking that it is the right lane and also to be mindful watch their surroundings. Stay off their phones, just be aware of what’s going on,” Jeltema said.

Connecticut State Police told us that the crash remains under investigation.