Arrest made in deadly 2011 Yale tailgating crash

AP News
Posted: May 04, 2012 8:11 PM
Arrest made in deadly 2011 Yale tailgating crash

The 21-year-old driver of a U-Haul truck that struck and killed a woman in a tailgating area at the Yale-Harvard football game in 2011 was arrested Friday, charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and reckless driving.

Brendan D. Ross of O'Fallon, Mo., turned himself in at the New Haven Police Department. The Yale student was accompanied by his father and attorney.

Police have said Ross was driving the rented truck carrying beer kegs through the popular tailgating area before the football game when witnesses saw the vehicle turn a corner and speed up, striking three women. Thirty-year-old Nancy Barry of Salem, Mass., was fatally injured in the crash.

Another woman who was struck, Sarah Short, last month filed a lawsuit against Ross and U-Haul for more than $15,000. A friend of Barry's, Short said she suffered "severe and deep bone bruising" and a fracture, skin loss and other injuries. Elizabeth Dernbach, 23, a Harvard employee originally from Naples, Fla., was also injured.

Ross' attorney, William Dow, described the case to the New Haven Register as a "tragedy." Ross was released on a promise to appear.

"If there is any good that comes out of this, Brendan has expressed his condolences from the beginning to the family and those condolences were well-received," Dow said.

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Dow said he reached an agreement with the State's Attorney's office that Ross would turn himself in to police after finishing his final exam. He told the newspaper that his client finished his last exam a half hour beforehand.

Yale has since tightened its tailgating rules since the crash. It now bans kegs at university athletic events and other functions. Also, oversized vehicles, such as box trucks and large commercial vehicles, are barred from university lots at athletic events unless they are driven by a preapproved authorized vendor.