The girls were both brought to a hospital near me. From the tv coverage around here, it seems that there were extensive injuries to both girls and one girl was only identified by school officials, not her family. People can get pretty messed up in a bad car wreck, so I can see how not even family would recognize them. They do have very similar features.
The officials on the scene were interviewed and they admit it can be difficult in a multi-person accident to identify everyone but that more should have been done in a tricky situation like this one. They said DNA tests can be done as a last resort but it takes a long time to get results back and usually other ways of ID’ing a person are faster. The officials probably assumed the families would confirm their ID’s.
If you read the sister’s blog it goes through the events (she was the sister of the deceased, but kept vigil at the other girl’s bedside since they all thought that one was her.) She mentions in the blog how when the girl woke up “She talked nonsense.” The family finally came to the hospital staff with suspicions that she was not their daughter. Can you imagine???
There is a gravesite now with the surviving girl’s name on it - she can see her own grave and hear about her funeral! Creepy!
Imagine the moment of realization for both families.