VERO BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A 20-year-old college student is dead a following a collision near the Barber Bridge in Vero Beach on Wednesday. The college identified the victim as 20 year-old Grace Rett. Rett just turned 20 on Tuesday.
The crash involved a van carrying a college rowing team from College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.
Rett was a standout on the school's rowing team. In December 2019, she earned a world record, rowing for 62 hours with minimal sleep on a rowing machine.
She was a sophomore English and Psychology major from Massachusetts.
In the crash, one of two team vehicles carrying eleven players and one coach, collided with a pickup truck at Indian River Boulevard just before 7:30 a.m. The driver of the pickup also went to the hospital.
Police said its preliminary investigation showed the van, while going southbound, turned left into the path of the oncoming pickup truck as it traveled northbound along Indian River Boulevard. The victim was sitting in the right front passenger seat.
"We have several victims stuck inside a van," exclaimed a first responder over law enforcement radios, according to the website Broadcastify. "We have four....five people still in there."
The team was in town for a week-long winter training that’s hosted by Vero Beach Rowing Club.
College officials spoke Wednesday night about the deadly crash and remembered Rett as a "light to all who knew her." Holy Cross is a Jesuit college in Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross' president Rev. Phillip Boroughs, the school's Athletics Director, and the Rett family were on their way to Florida, as of Wednesday afternoon.
"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,” said Boroughs in a statement Wednesday.