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Important Information Regarding Holy Cross Women’s Rowing

January 15th, 2020 by 


UPDATE: Monday, 1/27

Holy Cross is extremely grateful to report that every person involved in the Jan. 15 crash has now been discharged from the hospital in Florida.

Anne Comcowich left Lawnwood Regional Medical Center Monday morning. She will travel back to a hospital in Massachusetts to continue her recovery. Women’s Rowing Head Coach Patrick Diggins was released late last week.

Comcowich, a sophomore from Hopkinton, Mass., issued a statement upon her release.

“I am so grateful for the kindness, warmth, and love shown to all of us affected by the accident. We’ve been uplifted in countless ways by the gestures of so many whose gracious acts will never be forgotten, though their identities are unknown to us,” Comcowich said. “I came to the hospital broken, but I left as one, not only physically but with the community.”

Throughout the past two weeks, people across the country have offered their help, support, prayers, and care to members of the Holy Cross family. College President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs on Monday expressed his thanks to them:

“We cannot adequately express our gratitude to the many people in Florida, Massachusetts, and across the country who have offered their help and support in this difficult time. I have been so moved by the people of Vero Beach, who adopted the Holy Cross community as their own. The outpouring of aid from our alumni community has once again reminded us of the deep bonds connecting our Holy Cross family. We have also been blessed by countless acts of selflessness and kindness, from the first responders and witnesses of the crash who helped pull our students to safety, to the medical professionals in Florida who have gone above and beyond to care for the injured, and the hundreds of friends and strangers who have written or called with offers of support, time, money and prayer. All we can say is thank you.”

Sophomore Grace Rett was killed in the Jan. 15 crash, which occurred while the women’s rowing team was in Florida for winter training. The Holy Cross community on Friday gathered in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel on campus for a memorial mass in Grace’s honor.

UPDATE: 2 p.m. Wednesday, 1/22

We are again grateful to report that two more Holy Cross students from the women’s rowing team have been discharged from the hospital in Florida.

First-year student Bianca McIver from Scarsdale, N.Y., was released from the hospital Tuesday. Maggie O’Leary, a first-year student from Waterbury, Conn., was released on Monday.

College staff and students joined hundreds of family and friends on Wednesday at the funeral mass for Grace Rett ’22. Please keep the Rett family, along with all of those affected by this tragic event, in your prayers.

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m. Tuesday

Hannah Strom, a sophomore from Marion, Mass., was airlifted Monday afternoon from Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Florida to continue her recovery closer to home in Massachusetts after last week’s crash. 

We continue to pray for all of those injured, along with their families and friends.

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Sunday

We are grateful to report that another Holy Cross student has been discharged from the hospital in Florida.

Paige Cohen, a junior from Atlanta, was released from Lawnwood Regional Medical Center Saturday afternoon.

We ask for continued prayers for the four Holy Cross students, our rowing coach, and the driver of the truck as they continue to recover in the hospital.

As Holy Cross students return to campus Sunday for the start of the spring semester, the College is offering support in a number of ways. On Sunday afternoon between the hours of 2 to 8 p.m, we will be providing space for the campus community to gather and support each other at Campion House. Chaplains and counselors will be available throughout this time to provide support as needed.

Students can access the Counseling Center by calling 508-793-3363 or coming to Hogan 207. The Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., with urgent care times available at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. After hours, an on-call crisis counselor can be reached by calling the Counseling Center at 508-793-3363.

UPDATE: 1:15 p.m. Friday

The College is happy to report that one of our students who was injured in Wednesday’s crash, Maegan Moriarty ’20, was released from the hospital Thursday evening.

As of midday Friday, five Holy Cross students and a coach remained hospitalized at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Florida. We ask that everyone continue to keep our students, coach, and the driver of the other vehicle involved in your prayers.

Holy Cross President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, who has been in Florida supporting the family since Wednesday afternoon, addressed the campus community in an email late Thursday.

Fr. Boroughs is planning to return to campus Friday. The College will continue to have support staff on the ground in Florida working with the affected families for the foreseeable future.

The College community will have the opportunity in the coming weeks to gather together in remembrance and prayer. We will share that information once plans are in place.

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

ORIGINAL UPDATE: 7:47 p.m. Wednesday

Members of the College of the Holy Cross women’s rowing team were involved in a serious motor vehicle crash Wednesday morning while on a winter training trip in Vero Beach, Florida.

The College is stunned and saddened to report that 20-year-old Grace Rett ’22, passed away as a result of her injuries sustained in the accident.

Grace was a sophomore English and psychology major from Uxbridge, Mass. She recently set a world record, rowing for 62 straight hours on an erg machine.

The College’s thoughts and prayers are with Grace’s family, friends and teammates at this time.

Six other members of the team and a coach suffered injuries in the crash and were transported to local hospitals.

College President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., Athletics Director Marcus Blossom, and representatives from the College’s Office of College Chaplains were traveling to Florida Wednesday afternoon to support the team.

“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 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.”

“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,” said Blossom. “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.”

Hundreds of students attended a brief gathering at the Luth Athletic Complex Wednesday. College chaplains and counselors along with staff from the Athletics Department were present to offer their support for all members of the community. Plans for additional remembrances will be forthcoming.

The Holy Cross vs. Army West Point men’s basketball game scheduled for Wednesday evening has been postponed until 2 p.m. Thursday.

The College reminded members of its community that a number of campus resources are available to them in this time of grief.

Students can access the Counseling Center by contacting 508-793-3363 or chaplains by contacting 508-793-2448. After hours, an on-call crisis counselor may be reached by telephone by calling the Counseling Center at 508-793-3363 and following the prompts.

For College employees, counselors from KGA Associates (Employee Assistance Provider for the College) will be on site on Thursday, January 16, to meet with employees seeking support and counseling. Counselors will be in Hogan rooms 328 and 404 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

This page will be updated with additional information as appropriate.

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