Friends remember Berea students killed in car wreck
BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ)-The woman charged in the death of two Berea College students has a criminal past full of driving infractions. Natasha Gross, 37, faces manslaughter charges for the Friday night crash that killed 23-year-old Joana Ivanova from Bulgaria, and 21-year-old Eny Enkhbold from Mongolia.
About six years ago, police arrested gross for DUI. In 2015, she was arrested for driving with a suspended license and without registration. She has also been in trouble for several other minor traffic violations. That frustrates friends of Joana and Eny. They their friends as kind, inclusive, and funny.
An arrest citation says Gross was involved in two other crashes Friday night before hitting the car carrying the two students.
“There’s like this empty space kind of,” Coralyn Kinney said.
Joana and Eny were both international students. A letter from the college president Wednesday night told students Eny’s family was with her when she died.
“That gave me so much relief because what I was so worried about was her family was so far away and there was no one there to be with her and she’s always been there for everyone,” Lacy Joiner said.
Eny’s friends describe her as a self-proclaimed feminist, a dedicated student, and a positive thinker. Kinney remembers a moment during a freezing smoke break when Eny caught her off guard with encouraging, kind words.
“I always think about it because she was like telling me about her life and I was telling her about mine and kind of like our future goals,” Kinney said.
Police say Gross was involved in two other crashes Friday night just before the one that killed Eny and Joana. In one of those, she is accused of knocking down a mailbox that hit a person walking on the street.
“Obviously, she was going way too fast and it affects so many more people than just the people in that car,” Kinney said.
Joiner feels too much focus is on another mug shot. Darryl Long-Foster was arrested for DUI.
He was driving Eny and Joana, but he has not been charged with their death.
“It’s very typical of America for that to be what’s being shared around,” Joiner said, referring to Long-Foster’s mug shot.
She says she does not think either mug should be shared. Instead, she wants people to focus on the friends she has lost.
“You should really tell people how important to you that they are while you can. That’s all,” Joiner said.
A third student involved in the wreck is doing better. Friends say doctors were able to take him off a ventilator.