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Police: Holy Cross women's rowing team member dead after truck, van collide in Vero Beach

Posted at 11:40 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 07:46:36-05

VERO BEACH, Fla. — A 20-year-old star athlete died Wednesday after a two-vehicle crash in Vero Beach involving a college women's rowing team from Massachusetts, according to police.

RELATED: Pain of deadly Holy Cross crash felt from Vero Beach to Massachusetts

Officers responded to the scene at the Merril P. Barber Bridge and Indian River Boulevard around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Chief David Currey said a van carrying members of a women's rowing team turned in front of a pickup truck on a green light, causing the truck to slam into the van.

"The front right passenger of the van is the deceased, and from my knowledge, she turned 20 years old yesterday," said Chief Currey.

The College of the Holy Cross, which is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, identified the student as Grace Rett, a sophomore, and released the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that we share with you that Grace Rett '22, a resident of Healy, has passed away following this morning's accident involving the women’s rowing team. Our thoughts and prayers are with Grace’s family, friends and teammates at this time."

Police said at least 12 others were hurt in the wreck. Four people, plus Rett, were transported to Cleveland Clinic. Those four have since been released. Eight others were transported to Lawnwood Trauma Center.

As of Wednesday night, the eight victims at Lawnwood were still hospitalized: three critical, two stable and three in good condition.

Chief Currey said two vans were carrying members of the rowing team at the time of the crash, but only one of the vans was involved in the wreck.

An official at Holy Cross said the vans were carrying 11 student athletes and the head coach.

Some traffic in the area was diverted Wednesday morning, but just before noon police tweeted that the roadway was clear.