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Car crash leaves Babson College students injured, campus stunned

Posted by Your Town  February 1, 2013 05:10 PM

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A head-on car crash in Wellesley early Friday morning sent eight Babson College students to the hospital, including one woman who was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious head injuries, police and college officials said.

“I think people are surprised. It happened in the middle of the night,” said Michael Chmura, director of public Relations at Babson. “It’s a small campus so everybody knows everybody. If that many people are injured, you’re sure to know one of them, or have one of them in your class.”

The crash occurred at around 2:41 a.m. on Wellesley Avenue near Hunnewell Street, when a Mercedes Benz carrying seven people drifted across the yellow line and collided head-on with a Honda with only one occupant, said Wellesley police Sergeant Scott Whittemore.

Everyone involved, said Chmura, is a student at Babson. Six had been released from the hospital by Friday afternoon and were back on campus, he said. About 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students attend the institution, he said.

The Glavin Chapel at Babson was open throughout the day with staff available, and counseling support will be provided for students who need it. It had not yet been decided what steps to take on Monday when classes resume, Chmura said.

“We gotta make it through today,” he said.

The cause of the accident was still under investigation, said Whittemore, but it did not appear that alcohol was involved. No charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon.

“We believe the accident occurred because the driver [of the Mercedes] was on the wrong side of the road,” said Whittemore. That stretch of road, he said, is windy and hilly, and the Mercedes appears to have come around a blind curve and collided with the Honda.

The Mercedes was carrying seven people, though it was only made to carry five, said Whittemore. There were five passengers in the back seat, he said, none of whom were wearing seatbelts.

The woman who was airlifted to Mass. General was riding in the back seat of the Mercedes, said Whittemore. She remained in the intensive care unit in stable condition.

One other back seat passenger, as well as the drivers of both of the cars, were taken from the scene to Beth Israel Hospital with minor injuries, he said.

The rest of the passengers from the Mercedes went back to the college and then, by their own means, to Newton-Wellesley Hospital for evaluation.

Accident reconstruction will probably take about a week, said Whittemore, and police will consider filing charges after it is complete.

Police were not releasing the names of anyone involved in the accident, he said, because they were still working to contact families.

At Babson, student groups were beginning to come together, said Chmura. “People are doing it quietly in their own way,” he said.

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com.

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