Holy Cross Team Suffers Fatal Car Crash on Training Trip

Brock Fritz Headshot

The College of the Holy Cross women’s rowing team is grieving after a teammate passed away Wednesday morning.

The school announced Wednesday that Grace Rett, a 20-year-old sophomore from Uxbridge, Mass., passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a Wednesday morning accident in Vero Beach, Fla.

“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,” Holy Cross President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. said in the university’s statement. “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.”

Holy Cross, which is located in Worcester, Mass., sent its women’s rowing team to Florida for a training trip. The crash happened when the team van collided with a pickup truck at an intersection at about 7:30 a.m., according to CBS Boston. A total of 11 people were injured in the crash, including six more members of the rowing team and a coach.

“It hits home any time we deal with things like that,” Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey said, according to CBS Boston. “We have newer officers, younger officers that have younger children. When we deal with things where younger children are victims, it hit home. We’re a family here. We’re people. It’s real, and it’s terrible. It’s a tragic event and it’s unfortunate. But it’s real.”

Rett, an English and psychology major, recently set an indoor world record in December by rowing 62 straight hours on an erg machine. Rett set the continuous rowing machine record for women 19 years old and younger, going a total of 237.55 miles in the process.

“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,” athletic director Marcus Blossom said. “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.”

Wednesday’s men’s basketball game between Holy Cross and Army was postponed until Thursday afternoon.

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