3 killed in wrong-way collision

2nd wrong-way collision in The Woodlands since Friday

THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Three people were killed when a drunken driving suspect going the wrong way on Interstate 45 caused a head-on collision in The Woodlands, said Department of Public Safety Troopers.

Troopers said Edward Blackwell, 43, was driving a Chevrolet Impala when he entered the freeway just north of Woodlands Parkway going north in the southbound lanes on Sunday morning.

Troopers said Blackwell crashed into a Pontiac G6, killing the driver and passenger, 27-year-old Dominique Hobbs and 25-year-old Anis Atkins, in the Pontiac at the scene.

The passenger in Blackwell's car, 47-year-old Stephen Isbell, also died at the scene.

Blackwell was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition. Investigators said he suffered internal bleeding.

"I've never seen anything like this in my 10 year career," DPS Trooper Erik Burse said. "There is no reason for someone to turn around and start traveling in the wrong direction in the freeway."

Investigators said Blackwell will face three counts of intoxication manslaughter if he survives his injuries sustained in the crash.

Blackwell is a member of the National Guard.

"It does hurt to know that he's a soldier," Burse said.

It's the second time in 48 hours that a fatal wrong-way crash occurred on the North Freeway. On Friday, two teens were killed on I-45 near Highway 242 when authorities said a driver traveling the wrong way hit their car head-on.

In that case, deputies charged Nicole Nadra Baukus, 23, with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.

Despite similarities in the two fatal crashes, troopers said the only common denominator is alcohol.

"It's not a road problem. It doesn't appear that the signs or any road marking would have someone turn around and do that," said Burse.

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