Even though she had been up late preparing Thanksgiving dinner, Celia Ingram sprang out of bed when the phone rang and her husband answered about 5 a.m. Thursday.

"I didn't hear the whole conversation, but as soon as I heard my husband say, 'Was he hurt?' I started getting dressed right away," Ingram said.

"I also started packing a duffel bag because I knew I'd be spending time at the hospital because I wasn't going to leave."

But when Ingram and her husband arrived at Hahnemann University Hospital, they were ushered into a private consultation room, she said. They ended up taking home a bag of their son Michael's personal belongings.

"When I saw six people walking in, I knew it wasn't good," Ingram said through tears, in a telephone interview yesterday from the family home in Newark, Del.

Michael Ingram, a recent college graduate, was killed about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in a head-on collision on Interstate 95 near Broad Street, police said. He had been driving his mother's Infiniti and had planned a night out with friends, according to his family.

The car collided with a Mitsubishi Galant that was headed the wrong way, state police said. The driver of the Mitsubishi, identified as Shelton Mack, 31, of Philadelphia, also was killed, police said.

Three of Michael Ingram's friends, all 23-year-old men, were injured, police said. The official cause was under investigation, police said.

Michael Ingram's parents said their son had just gotten a degree in sports management from Delaware State University.

Michael Ingram II, born in Newark, had been a star at Glasgow (Del.) High School, where he played basketball and baseball, his father said. He continued playing baseball in college and had earned a partial scholarship for his athletic prowess.

"He was absolutely a great kid; he was perfect, always did the right things, loved by all of his friends, never been in trouble," his father said.

Celia Ingram said that she was trying to come terms with never seeing her son again.

"It's not real," she said, crying. "It's unbelievable. It just wasn't supposed to be that way."