FORT PIERCE, Florida (CBS) – A doctor at the hospital where 11 College of the Holy Cross students and drivers who were victims of a car crash Wednesday are being treated said that all patients from the crash still in the hospital are expected to survive. The Holy Cross rowing team, whose team van was involved in the crash in Vero Beach, already lost one team member, Grace Rett, as a result of the crash.
“In terms of the outcomes, some of them we don’t know what their capabilities will be in the long run, but at this time most of the patients seem to be having a good prognosis,” said Dr. Jason Moore, part of the team’s trauma care team at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center.
One student is still unconscious, Moore said. One student was released from the hospital on Thursday. Moore said the most critically injured patients will likely remain in the hospital for a week or more and others may be released in the next few days depending on how well they recuperate.
The hospital said Thursday evening that seven patients still remain at the hospital, three in critical, two in serious and two in good condition. It is unclear whether they are students or one of the drivers.
Moore said it is difficult to determine if any will have permanent disabilities as a result of their injuries and that they need more time for evaluation. Two have traumatic brain injuries, he said, and others have broken bones.
He said it will be a long road ahead for many patients. They are recovering from their injuries, Moore said, but given the severity of the injuries, they may need multiple additional surgeries and will require physical therapy for the foreseeable future.
The students’ biggest challenge, Moore said, might be dealing with the loss of their teammate, especially in terms of getting back to rowing.
“It will take a significant amount of effort to do so, probably not from a physical standpoint, because they’re young and healthy and they’re strong. Possibly from the emotional aspect of losing their team member,” he said. “That may be their most limiting factor.”
Moore said some patients could be transferred to hospitals in New England, but that none have requested to be transferred yet. He said they should be able to return to school, but that it is unclear when.
“It’s a terrible situation,” he said. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for them to be involved in a car accident with their close and dear friends and to have one of their teammates pass away. All we can do is pray for them and offer whatever support we can, not only for their mental well-being but their spiritual well-being.”
Moore said parents of the students have been offered counseling services and seem to be doing well.