20-Year-Old Holy Cross Rower Killed One Day After Her Birthday in Team Van Crash in Florida
A member of the women’s rowing team at Holy Cross College was killed and nearly a dozen others were injured in a car accident in Florida early Wednesday.
The victim, who had celebrated her 20th birthday on Tuesday, was the front right passenger in a team transport van when it collided with a Dodge pickup truck just before 7:30 a.m. local time, a spokesperson for the Vero Beach Police Department said at a press conference.
She was believed to have been wearing her seatbelt but was pronounced dead at the scene.
A Holy Cross spokesman identified the victim as Grace Rett, a sophomore from Uxbridge, Massachusetts, to WBZ. She was majoring in English and psychology, according to her Holy Cross biography.
Twenty members of the rowing team were traveling together and were dispersed among two different vans. Police were unsure as to just how many passengers were in each, but believe the van involved in the crash was carrying 12 people.
Police said approximately 13 people suffered “serious injuries” in the crash, including the male driver of the truck. At least 11 members of the team were also taken to the hospital, and four have since been released.
Several passengers were initially trapped inside the vehicle on impact, but all were pulled from the scene.
The incident occurred at Barber Bridge and Indian River Boulevard, with preliminary reports indicating that the truck was headed northbound and the van southbound — both with green lights — when the van turned in front of the truck.
Police did not identify the victim, though Holy Cross released a statement Wednesday morning announcing its women’s rowing team had been involved in a “serious crash” in Florida.
“The College is in contact with authorities in Florida and is in the process of gathering more information. Holy Cross has been in touch with the families of those students and coaches and is offering support for all those involved,” the statement from the Massachusetts school read. “We ask that you keep all those involved and their families in your prayers at this time.”
No charges have yet been filed, and alcohol is not considered to be a factor, police said.