20-year-old New England rower dies, 11 injured in Vero Beach car crash

20-year-old New England rower dies, 11 injured in Vero Beach car crash

Vero Beach, Fl  (treasurecoast.com)- A Holy Cross College student was killed in a horrific crash  Wednesday morning. The crash involved members of the women’s rowing team.

The crash happened at Indian River Boulevard and the Barber Bridge in Vero Beach.

Eleven other people were injured, including seven who suffered traumatic and potentially life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey said that police responded to the crash at 7:28 a.m. Currey said the collision involved a red Dodge pickup truck and a van carrying members of the college rowing team. He said the team was traveling in two vans, and the student who was killed was in the passenger seat of the first van.

The chief said traffic signals were green for both the northbound and southbound lanes. He said the red pickup truck was traveling north and the Holy Cross van was traveling south. The crash took place as the van turned left.

The right front corner of the van took the majority of the impact.  The woman who was killed in the crash was sitting in the right front passenger seat.

He said that the two vans were carrying approximately 20 members of the crew team, as well as coaches and support staff. No one in the second van was physically injured. 

Rett was in cardiac arrest and had to be extricated from the van. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Indian River County Fire Rescue battalion chief Kyle Kofke.

Kofke said the driver of the pickup truck and six other people in the van suffered traumatic and potentially life-threatening injuries. Three were taken by helicopter and four by ambulance to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce.

Four other people in the van were taken to a local hospital to be evaluated as a precaution, Kofke said.

Grace Rett, 20, was an Uxbridge native and member of the Holy Cross class of 2022. According to Holy Cross,  Rett recently set an indoor rowing world record at Holy Cross for her age group by rowing 237.55 miles in 62 hours and 3 seconds.

Posted on the Holy Cross Website

Members of the College of the Holy Cross women’s rowing team were involved in a serious motor vehicle crash Wednesday morning while on a winter training trip in Vero Beach, Florida.

The College is stunned and saddened to report that 20-year-old Grace Rett ’22, passed away as a result of her injuries sustained in the accident.

Grace was a sophomore English and psychology major from Uxbridge, Mass. She recently set a world record, rowing for 62 straight hours on an erg machine.

The College’s thoughts and prayers are with Grace’s family, friends and teammates at this time.

Several other members of the team suffered injuries in the crash and were transported to local hospitals.

College President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., Athletics Director Marcus Blossom, and representatives from the College’s Office of College Chaplains were traveling to Florida Wednesday afternoon to support the team.

“Our community has suffered a tragic loss. I extend my deepest condolences to Grace’s family, members of the women’s rowing team and their coaches, and all who loved Grace,” said Boroughs. “In our grief we pray that the healing power of the love of Christ will touch their hearts and provide some peace. I ask that all members of the community support one another at this time and pray for the healing of those involved in the accident.”

“Today, our community is faced with unimaginable tragedy and devastating loss. Everyone who knew Grace was touched by her warm heart, tenacious work ethic and inspirational drive,” said Blossom. “Our entire Holy Cross community is mourning today, and our focus is on supporting our Crusader students, families, faculty and staff, both here and in Florida. Our prayers are with Grace’s family and all those injured in today’s events. We ask for everyone’s thoughts and prayers.”

Hundreds of students attended a brief gathering at the Luth Athletic Complex Wednesday. College chaplains and counselors along with staff from the Athletics Department were present to offer their support for all members of the community. Plans for additional remembrances will be forthcoming.


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