Edward L. Williams, 24, woke up in pain in Fredericksburg's Mary Washington Hospital last Saturday night, not knowing where he was or that he had slept through a nightmare.

Around 4:30 that afternoon, Williams and a friend, Kevin Heath, 23, were heading south on I-95 through Stafford County on their way to Hampton University to pledge new members for their fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi.

Heath was at the wheel; Williams was asleep in the passenger seat. They were driving in the center lane near Rte. 610 north of Garrisonville, Va., when their car was hit by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction at an estimated 80 miles an hour, Virginia state police said.

The other vehicle, a 1982 Honda driven by Kenneth B. Eide, 22, of Arlington, had been traveling north at high speed on the left shoulder of the southbound lanes for six or seven miles before it swerved into the oncoming traffic and hit Heath's 1987 Volkswagen head-on, police said.

The impact knocked Heath's vehicle into the right lane, where it struck a car driven by Ka Kinard of Spotsylvania, who had her 2-year-old daughter with her, police said. Kinard's car ran off the road and hit an embankment.

Heath, who lived on Woodman Avenue in Silver Spring, died at the scene. Eide, who lived on 11th Street in North Arlington, died as he was being taken by helicopter to Fairfax Hospital, police said.

Kinard and her daughter were treated at Mary Washington Hospital and released. "The Lord was with us," Kinard, 30, said.

According to Trooper R.M. Ivey, officers investigating the accident found empty beer cans and a still-warm device for smoking marijuana in Eide's car.

Police said yesterday that they were awaiting the results of a toxicology test on Eide by the Northern Virginia medical examiner's office.

In November 1986, Eide was convicted in Arlington County of driving while intoxicated and of marijuana possession, according to court records. He received a one-year suspended sentence on the marijuana possession charge and was to have entered a county drug education program but did not, according to the records, and a warrant for his arrest was outstanding at the time of his death.

A woman who answered the telephone at the Eide residence yesterday said that family members had been told that an autopsy showed Eide had suffered a massive heart attack. The woman, who said she was a close friend of the family, also said that Eide had a congenital heart defect.

The Northern Virginia medical examiner, James Beyer, said yesterday that Eide died of "multiple severe injuries." He would not elaborate.

Heath's mother, Elaine, said yesterday that she could not get over the "senselessness" of her son's death.

"I just don't understand it. How could it happen?" she said. "I asked the state trooper if Kevin was doing anything wrong. He said no, he had on his seat belts, everything."

All those involved in the accident had seat belts on at the time, police said.

Williams, who suffered a mild concussion, said he remembers nothing of the accident.

"I don't know if I fell from sleep right into unconsciousness or what," he said. "The next thing I knew I was in the hospital and my body was hurting. I asked the nurse what was going on . . . . I asked what happened to Kevin. She asked the state trooper to come in. He said he {Kevin} passed."

Williams said the accident was "shocking . . . . It's 4 in the afternoon and this guy is going down the wrong side of the road?"

Ivey said that while the police often get reports of drivers going the wrong way, this accident was different because of the speed involved.

Williams, an employee of the D.C. Department of Human Services, said he and Heath, both Hampton graduates, had been friends since 1982. "We drove that route all the time," Williams said.

Staff writer Dana Priest contributed to this report.