Drivers identified in fatal crash

February 14, 2013

A West Virginia University student from Pennsylvania remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday following a crash on Interstate 79 a day earlier that claimed her sorority sister’s life.

Emily Benford, 19, of Rockford, is a patient at UPMC Presbyterian hospital, Pittsburgh, where she was flown following the 4:18 p.m. Wednesday crash on I-79 north near the Marianna interchange in Amwell Township, WVU spokesman John A. Bolt said Thursday.

The passenger in Benford’s car, Sarah Graham, 21, of Frederick, Md., died at the scene after the 2004 Ford Focus began to spin out of control, struck guardrails, spun back across the roadway and collided with a northbound West Penn Power line repair truck, state police said. The truck driver, Marvin Powell, 50, of West Alexander, was not injured.

“It’s sad and tragic when something like this happens,” Bolt said.

He said the Delta Gamma sorority, of which the women belonged, will hold a candlelight vigil for Graham at 6 p.m. Friday at its house. Graham was a junior marketing major at WVU Morgantown.

The university was making grief counselors available for members of the sorority, he said.



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