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Injured Holy Cross students expected to survive

Police say the rowing team’s coach was at the wheel when a team van crashed, killing one student and injuring several more.

Dr. Jason Moore, a trauma surgeon at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, said Wednesday's crash in Vero Beach, Fla. resulted in the most significant number of patients he'd ever encountered in such serious condition.
Dr. Jason Moore, a trauma surgeon at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, said Wednesday's crash in Vero Beach, Fla. resulted in the most significant number of patients he'd ever encountered in such serious condition.Zoe Greenberg

VERO BEACH, Fla.—Six members of the College of the Holy Cross women’s rowing team and their coach remain hospitalized following a violent crash that killed rower Grace Rett on Wednesday morning, a surgeon at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

All are expected to survive, said Dr. Jason Moore, a trauma surgeon at Lawnwood, where the victims are being treated, but for “some of them, we still don’t know what their capabilities will be in the long run.”

One of the rowers still in the hospital will likely be discharged today, while another remains unconscious and on a ventilator, Moore said.

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The survivors of the crash suffered life-threatening injuries, Moore said, including brain injuries and serious pelvic and abdominal wounds. Three will undergo surgeries Tuesday. Doctors have already performed six operations on victims of the crash.

“Personally speaking, this is the most significant number of patients I have encountered who are in such a serious condition all at one time,” said Moore, who has worked at the trauma center for more than seven years.

The crash at a busy Florida intersection early Wednesday morning came during a week of training at the Vero Beach Rowing Club here, on a placid lagoon just a mile from the scene. A van carrying Rett and other team members apparently turned left despite oncoming traffic, police said.

Darrell Rivers, a spokesman for the Vero Beach Police Department, said the coach was driving the 2020 Ford Transit van when the crash occurred.

“We are still in the early stages of our investigation,” Rivers said in an e-mail. “We [won’t] know if speed played a factor in the crash until the scene is re-created.”

There are no cameras at that intersection, he said.

Patrick Diggins, the director of rowing at Holy Cross, was among those seriously injured, said Greg Gilmore, the father of Maggie Gilmore, a freshman on the Holy Cross rowing team.

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“We’re really just heartbroken for Grace’s family, the girls, and Coach Patrick," said Gilmore. “He’s been a tremendous coach and person."


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney. Zoe Greenberg can be reached at zoe.greenberg@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @zoegberg.