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East Haven Woman Among Three Killed In I-95 Head-On Collision

Barbara Prato of East Haven, wife of Momauguin School Principal John Prato, was among three people killed after the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a wrong-way driver on I-95 Southbound in Old Lyme late Tuesday night.

A car driving the wrong way on I-95 southbound at Exit 70 in Old Lyme led to a fatal accident that killed three people — including an East Haven resident — in a head-on collision at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

Barbara Prato, 63, of East Haven, was killed during the crash, along with a second passenger in the vehicle Marjorie Minore, 90, of North Haven, and the driver Tamara Nolin, 71, of Branford, according to an online report by The Day.

Prato is the wife of Momauguin Elementary School Principal John Prato.

Nolin's 2007 Nissan Maxima was struck by Frank Sundstrom, 51, of Warwick, R.I., who was driving his Oldsmoblie Alero the wrong way on the highway, The Day reports.

The accident led to additional crashes on the northbound side of 1-95 because other drivers were distracted by the scene. 

Sundstrom was the sole occupant of his sedan vehicle and was flown by Lifestar helicopter to St. Raphael/Yale-New Haven Hospital in critical condition.

Police say the accidents on the northbound side of the highway were minor but succeeded in stopping traffic. The multiple vehicle collisions closed both the northbound and southbound lanes of 1-95 at Exit 70 for about four hours. The highway, which is now clear, reopened at about 2:30 a.m.

At this point, police don't know why the driver was traveling in the wrong direction on the highway. Crime scene investigators were on the scene for several hours collecting evidence last night but the accident remains under investigation. 

Lesley Ferguson Simoni December 12, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Oh this is awful! My thoughts go out to the families, what a horrible accident.... I don't understand how someone can drive the wrong way on a highway, yet it seems to be happening more and more. So very sad.
Michelle Petroccio December 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
My heart breaks for the families as well. Mrs. Minore was Barbara Prato's mom. John & Barbara were a beautiful couple. They were the perfect pair. May the comfort of loved ones and friends help the families through this horrible and needless tragedy.
Ginger DeMatteo December 12, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Thoughts and prayers to Mr. Prato and his family at this tragic time. We send our sincerest condolences on your loss. God Bless.
Renee December 13, 2012 at 12:39 AM
So sorry for these families . As a person who has recently suffered a loss my deepest condolences to them all. So sad. I hope these families find peace
Lou December 13, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Horrible, especially around Christmas. There really needs to be laws on the books that require driver recertification after a caertain age. Such a tragic occurance.
Maria A. Ceniccola December 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM
So sorry for this horrible loss for these families. I'm a personal friend of (2) two of the ladies in the car which I still can't believe it but if anyone knows the Prato family you all should know how close this family was and this tragic accident especially at Christmas is so very sad. I have to comment on the 911 operator, because I am also a 911 caller to any accident on highway or if I see a drunk driver on the road I surely do call and sometimes I do try to follow until a officer is called. Sometimes when I call 911 operators not to every 911 operator but some, that when I response to anything that I think is wrong on the highway or anywhere the 911 operators always says with a rude answer "yes already got a call on that" and hangs up right in my face. I know that you probably get millions of calls but come on. How many calls came in to "911 Operators" because there was alot and I know this accident couldn't have been stopped, but really. The breathing apparatus in the cars could and couldn't work because they could just get in another car, so I think that every car should have a breathing apparatus and make it manaditary no matter if you drink or not. I also think that when your at a bar or family function or anywhere for anything and your drinking whomever is serving you should also get the same punishment or blame as the drunk driver and then you will see bartenders and bar owner and restaurant owners change there ways. BREATHING APPARATUS IN EVERY CAR!
Mike Liso December 13, 2012 at 07:53 PM
My hearfelt condolences go out to my friend John Prato and his family on their tragic loss.
Phoebe Burbine December 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Our heartfelt condolences to all of the families affrected by this tragic loss! Mr. Prato is the most warm-hearted, kind, and amazing man, and he is so loved by his students (past and present alike)! Our family is surely not alone in sending prayers and positive energy to Mr. Prato!
Tina D December 18, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Pheobe, you couldn't have said it better. My family too sends prayers to Mr Prato and his family. It is just so tragic.

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