Tragic Mistake

Monday, July 26, 2010 - 2:24pm

Wrong family mourns after fatal car crash leads to case of mistaken identity.

A University of Evansville soccer player thought to have died in an accident is actually alive.

Authorities in Arizona listed Abby Guerra as one of the victims of an auto accident last Sunday but over the weekend it was discovered to be a case of mistaken identity.

Guerra is alive, but still fighting for her life.

She is listed in critical condition at an Arizona hospital.

It's still unclear just how exactly the two identities were mistaken.

Guerra was a passenger in a vehicle with four of her friends last Sunday driving back to Arizona from Disneyland when the SUV apparently blew a tire and flipped on Interstate 10, about 50 miles from the family's home in Glendale.

Two passengers died as a result of injuries from the accident, one of whom was thought to be Guerra.

However, the female victim identified as Guerra was actually her friend, 21-year-old Marlena Cantu.

The mix-up was not discovered until Saturday when fingerprint records were checked by the medical examiner.

The accident had left both women with injuries so severe it was difficult for even family members who sat by Cantu's bedside to realize it was actually Guerra.

The case is eerily similar to a 2006 accident on I-69 in Indiana in which the identities of two Taylor University students were switched.

That mistake was not discovered until five weeks after the accident.

Most of Guerra's teammates, coaches and friends had already flown out to Arizona to attend her funeral which was scheduled for Monday.

Guerra underwent surgery after the accident and is still in critical condition with brain and back injuries.

She is a nursing student at UE and is planning to become an emergency room nurse.

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