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Holy Cross Women's Rowing Coach Retires Following Deadly Crash In Florida

The longtime Holy Cross women's rowing coach who was driving a team van that crashed, killing one student, in Florida last month is retiring, the school said.

Patrick Diggins is leaving after 34 years at the Worcester college, the school announced Friday.

"I thank Patrick for his years of dedication and service to the College," Director of Athletics Marcus Blossom said in a statement. "I wish him luck as he steps into this new chapter."

Diggins was driving a van to practice at a nearby training camp when it collided with a pickup truck in Vero Beach on Jan. 15, killing rower Grace Rett. Thirteen people were injured.

Witnesses from the scene told police that Diggins had turned left on a green light and failed to yield to oncoming traffic, resulting in the early morning crash.

A police report said Diggins blurted out a prayer moments after the horrific crash.

"Please let me have had a green light," Diggins said, according to the report. "Did I have a green arrow? God please let me have had a green arrow."

The school said the season that's set to begin in April will be led by interim head coach Jim Barr. A national search for a new coach will start at the end of this season, Holy Cross said.

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