A student at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusets on her way to rowing in Florida was killed Wednesday morning when a pickup hit a passenger car that, according to local authorities and the college, carried several members of the women's team.
In an email to the faculty and students, the college identified the student as Grace Rett, a member of the 2022 class. According to police, Ms. Rett, who turned 20 the day before the crash, died of her injuries on Crime scene .
Vero Beach Police Department chief David Currey told reporters that the accident injured 13 people, including several members of the Holy Cross team.
Some of the injured were brought to the Cleveland Clinic's Indian River Hospital. Others, including the pickup driver, were transported to the accident center at the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, but their conditions were not immediately known. Their names were not published immediately.
"There are definitely some serious injuries," said Chief Currey.
"The college is in contact with the families of our students and the Florida authorities," said John Hill, a college spokesman. "We are gathering more information and making plans to help those involved."
Brian Colgan, the director of Vero Beach Rowing, a community boathouse, said the Holy Cross team was in Florida to train at the facility a week before the season. The group was on their way to morning training when the accident happened.
"It's such a tragedy," said Colgan. "There has been tremendous support for the families who are coming down."
Chief Currey said officers responded to reports of the 7:30 am crash on Indian River Boulevard and on Merrill P. Barber Bridge.
According to a preliminary investigation, Chief Currey said the van, which carried about 12 members of the team, had driven south when he turned left to drive over the bridge. A man driving a red Dodge pickup north crashed into the passenger side of the van where Ms. Rett was sitting, he said.
"As far as I know, she buckled up," said Chief Currey.
Chief Currey said the accident will continue to be investigated and no charges have been brought.
About 20 crew members, including coaches, were driven in two vans. The second van that was behind the first was not involved in the crash. But these team members saw it.
"Obviously, they're not doing well," said Chief Currey. "But they are much better physically."
Ms. Rett, a sophomore at College in Worcester, Massachusetts, studied English and Psychology. The college said in a statement. She recently set a rowing record for 62 hours with an indoor rowing machine and spoke to The Worcester Telegram about her performance.
"It was mostly a mental challenge," she said, "that I was ready for."