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College of the Holy Cross

Holy Cross Rower Is Mourned After Crash as 6 Teammates Remain Hospitalized

A rowing machine sat in the college gym as a memorial to Grace Rett

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Three people remained in critical condition at a Florida hospital Thursday, a day after a van carrying members of the College of the Holy Cross women's rowing team was involved in a crash that killed one of the team's members.

The Holy Cross community spent Thursday mourning the loss of sophomore Grace Rett, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, who died when the van also carrying 10 other students and the team's head coach crashed with a truck.

A rowing machine sat in the college gym as a memorial to Rett, and a moment of silence was held at a basketball game the college was playing.

"She was loved by so many people. So many people. And I don't think I'll ever meet another person on this Earth who was like her," said Colin Hourihan, a lifelong friend.

Colin recalled the moment he learned about the crash and how he reacted: "I texted her immediately and I said, 'Please tell me you're okay."

His brother, Ryan Hourihan, reflected on what a talented rower Rett was — she recently set a world record for the longest continual row indoors, also known as erging, in her age group

"Rowing was her passion, it was her life, and she was so good at what she did," Ryan Hourihan said.

In addition to those in critical condition Thursday, two people involved in the crash in Vero Beach were in serious condition, and three remained in the hospital in good condition, according to the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce.

The hospital said that six of those hospitalized were members of the Holy Cross rowing team.

A sophomore on the women's rowing team at the College of the Holy Cross died in a van crash in Vero Beach, Florida.

Images from the scene showed extensive damage to a van and a pickup truck.

Michele Murray, Holy Cross' dean of students, said Wednesday that the van involved in the crash was one of two vans carrying the women's rowing team, which was in Vero Beach for winter training in advance of their competitive season.

“Grace was a light to all who knew her," Murray said. "She was incredibly passionate and hard working. Many of you will have seen evidence of that because she just set the world record for continuous erging."

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