Grace Rett Holy Cross rower killed in Vero Beach van crash after her vehicle turned into path of pickup truck. Crash led to 13 Worcester college team members injured.
A 20-year-old Massachusetts college rower was killed Wednesday morning when a pickup truck crashed into a van carrying her team to training in Florida.
The incident led to College of the Holy Cross rower Grace Rett being killed, along with the injuring of 13 others in the 7:30 a.m. wreck in Vero Beach, TCPalm.com reported.
The team from the Worcester college was en route to the Vero Beach Rowing Club for a mid-winter training camp when the crash occurred.
Rett, a sophomore, was sitting in the front passenger seat of one of two team vans when their vehicle was struck by a red Dodge pickup as it turned onto the Merrill P. Barber Bridge, according to Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey.
Authorities believe the van pulled into the path of the truck, Currey said during a news conference.
Curry said the preliminary investigation revealed that both vehicles had green lights and the van should have yielded to the truck. The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries.
Crash scene described as war zone:
One of the first emergency responders on scene, Lt. Matt Harrelson, described the ‘crash scene’ looking like a ‘war zone.’
‘I was assisting the EMS and firefighters,’ Harrelson said. ‘There wasn’t enough on scene to handle that many people at once.’
Seven of the 13 injured were taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, Currey said. Several of the victims were transported to area hospitals via helicopter.
The second van traveling behind the first van involved in the crash had been carrying coaching and support staff. In total there had been 20 team members traveling to make Wednesday morning training. None of the passengers in the second van were involved in the crash.
In a statement to the site, Holy Cross said, ‘This morning, members of the Holy Cross women’s rowing team were involved in a serious crash while traveling in Florida.’
‘We ask that you keep all those involved and their families in your prayers at this time.’
Police said they were in the ‘very preliminary’ stages of the investigation, with no charges laid, with alcohol not considered a factor.
The bridge and a segment of Indian River Boulevard remained closed most of the morning, according to the Vero Beach Police Department.