Holy Cross rower killed in team van crash in Florida
Jan. 16, 2020
A College of the Holy Cross student, who was killed Wednesday morning when a van carrying her and fellow members of the Worcester, Mass., college’s rowing team crashed in Florida, turned 20 on Tuesday, police said.
Holy Cross identified the student as Grace Rett, a sophomore from Uxbridge, Mass., who was a member of the class of 2022.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Grace’s family, friends and teammates at this time,” the college wrote in an email to students.
Two vans were carrying about 20 members of the rowing team near the Barber Bridge in Vero Beach, Fla., around 7:30 a.m. The first van was heading south and trying to turn onto the bridge. The van did not yield and went into the path of a Dodge pickup truck that was heading north, according to the preliminary investigation, Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey said during a live-streamed press conference.
It appears the pickup truck slammed into the right-front passenger side of the van, where Rett was sitting, said police, who added that Rett was wearing her seat belt.
Rett was majoring in English and psychology, according to her athletics bio page. She went to Marianapolis Prep in Connecticut, where she started rowing her freshman year and went on to be captain of the girls’ varsity crew team.
The crew program was established in 2014 at Marianapolis, which had announced that Rett committed to row for Division I for Holy Cross.
“Being the first rower from Marianapolis to row at the collegiate level is really special for me because I can help promote the Marianapolis crew program for those who come after me and give back to the program that has given me so much,” Rett said at the time.
Recently, Rett rowed 383,000 meters, setting a world record, according to WCVB News.
Currey said he believes Rett was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Officers who responded worked to pull other people out of the van.
At least 11 people were transported to hospitals, the chief said, some with serious injuries. The driver of the pickup truck was among those taken to the hospital, but the chief did not have an update on his condition. A few of the injured have already been released from the hospital.
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