Grace Rett. (Facebook)
WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A member of the Holy Cross College women's rowing team was killed in a tragic two-vehicle crash in Florida on Wednesday morning, police said.
Holy Cross officials have confirmed sophomore student Grace Rett of Uxbridge Massachusetts was pronounced dead at the scene.
"She turned 20 years of age yesterday," Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Currey said the team had arrived in Florida on Monday night for a week long training camp at the Vero Beach Rowing Club. On Wednesday morning approximately 20 team members, coaches and staff were traveling in two vans, when the first van was struck by a pickup truck while making a left turn shortly before 7:30 a.m.
The right front corner of the van took the brunt of the impact. Currey said Rett was wearing a seat belt and was sitting in the right front passenger seat at the time of the fatal collision.
Officials said some of the other twelve people in the van suffered serious injuries and are undergoing surgery. Four patients have been treated and released according to the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.
There were no physical injuries in the second van, although Currey noted that the group did witness a teammate die at the scene of a crash. "Obviously, they are not doing well," Currey said.
Holy Cross College said on social media that it is postponing Wednesday night's men's basketball game against Army West Point. It says the college is in contact with authorities in Florida, and asked everyone to "please keep all those involved and their families in your prayers."
Last month, Rett set a new world record by rowing more than 237.5 miles in 62 hours and 3 seconds.
Marianapolis Preparatory School in Connecticut, where Rett attended high school, described her as "the first Marianapolis student to row at the collegiate level." Her former coach Sean Murphy called Rett "the strongest girls' rower we have ever had... and this is predominantly a result of her own personal drive."