DPS identified the driver of the Jeep as 47-year-old Judith Gass of Houston and the passenger as Lisa Nash, 46, from Houston. The driver of the Ford Escape was identified as Ashley Andrews, 27, from El Campo.
All three women died at the scene.
Authorities say Andrews was headed southbound on Highway 59 near Grunwald around 1:30am headed to her boyfriend's home in El Campo when her car was hit head-on by Gass' Jeep driving the wrong way.
DPS told us they received calls from other drivers prior to the wreck reporting the wrong-way driver on Highway 59. By the time troopers caught up to Gass, it was too late.
It can be a bit confusing on the dark roadway because there are four lanes of Highway 59 with a center dividing the highway and then there are side roads on either side with cars travelling in both directions, but we are hearing from officials that alcohol may have played a role in this accident.Troopers say a bottle of some sort of alcohol was found in Gass' vehicle.
"It's an ongoing investigation right now. We are going to look into it, obviously," said Sgt. Steve Holtz with the Texas Highway Patrol. "We have some indicators that alcohol may be a factor in the crash. As for right now, we'll just have to continue our investigation."
Toxicology tests are being performed by the medical examiner on all three bodies.
Highway 59 was closed for nearly four hours and reopened just before 5am.