Vero Beach

‘Holy Cross Strong': Florida City Grieves After College's Deadly Rowing Team Crash

Police placed ribbons at the site of the fatal crash on Friday

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The City of Vero Beach, Florida, is showing its respect for the families of the Holy Cross women's rowing team who were involved in a crash that killed one of team's members this week.

The city wrapped purple ribbons around several light poles on Barber Bridge, the site of the crash, on Friday. A teddy bear was also hung to represent the life of Grace Rett.

"We want them to know that we are 'Holy Cross Strong,'" the Vero Beach Police Department said on Facebook. "Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of all involved including the driver of the truck."

The College of the Holy Cross community continued to mourn a student athlete killed in Florida this week when the rowing team's van crashed.

Rett died on Wednesday morning after a van carrying the Holy Cross women's rowing team was involved in a car crash. Twelve others were injured in the crash, according to police.

One of those injured was Hannah Strom, who is in a medically-induced coma in Florida.

Strom's father, Tom, owns the Kool Kone in Wrentham. The restaurant held a fundraiser Friday night to help support the family.

The rowing team was in Vero Beach for winter training in advance of their competitive season.

The College of the Holy Cross is mourning the loss of Grace Rett, who was killed in a van crash in Florida.

Rett was a talented rower who recently set a world record for the longest continual row indoors in her age group. She rowed for 62 hours without sleep, resting no more than 10 minutes each hour.

Five Holy Cross students and a coach remain hospitalized at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Florida, the school said. One injured student, Maegan Moriarty, was released from the hospital on Thursday night.

"Our community has suffered a terrible loss," Holy Cross President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs said in an email to the campus on Thursday. "Grace’s passion and spirit shone brightly in all that she did, and clearly had an impact on all who knew her. Our prayers are with Grace's family, friends and those who loved her."

"The strength of the Holy Cross community is never more evident than in times of grief and sadness. The support, care, and prayers from the Holy Cross family and friends from across the country have been tremendous. We are also blessed and humbled by the outpouring of support from colleges and universities across the country, the rowing community, and the extraordinary residents and organizations in Vero Beach."

Plans are being made to support Holy Cross students as they return to campus this weekend following winter break. Classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

The college also said that it is working on plans to gather in remembrance and prayer in the coming weeks and will communicate that information once those plans are in place.

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