Monday, November 21, 2011

One Dead in Accident at Yale Bowl

Brian Warren, of Richmond, Virginia, National Executive Director of Sigma
Phi Epsilon in New Haven Sunday morning at the Yale University Sigma Phi
Epsilon Connecticut Delta Chapter fraternity house on High Street.

By Ann DeMatteo
Peter Hvizdak / Register

NEW HAVEN — The mood at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house at Yale Unversity is of “shock and concern” following an accident at Yale Bowl yesterday that killed a woman and injured two others, a national fraternity official who flew in from Colorado said Sunday.

Sources have said it was a fraternity member who drove the U-Haul box truck into three women, killing one and injuring two in a parking lot where there was lots of tailgating going on before the Yale-Harvard game. The box truck was full of beer kegs, allegedly headed for the fraternity’s tailgating section.

Brian Warren, executive director of the national fraternity of which the Yale chapter is a part, would not confirm Sunday that a fraternity member was the one who drove the U-Haul into Lot D, as Warren said he is waiting for the police report.

But, he did say brothers were in the vehicle.
Warren had been at a national meeting in Colorado on Saturday and flew to New Haven as soon as he was informed of the tragedy.

Police have identified the driver of the truck as Brendan Ross, whose address they list as 31 High St., the address of the chapter house for SigEp. 
Ross was sober and no criminal charges have been filed, pending the outcome of an investigation by the city police department’s accident reconstruction team, police said.

There was an “inexplicable acceleration of the vehicle,” Warren said Sunday, referring to Saturday’s tragedy.

“As you can imagine, the fact that there was a death has really shaken people up,” Warren said.

“Everyone is thinking and praying for the families of the victims...One of the purposes of coming here was to support (the members) and assist in the investigations and be here if they wanted to talk to me.”

Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Mass., was killed when the U-Haul ran over her. A Yale School of Management student Sarah Short, was seriously injured and is in Yale-New Haven Hospital with broken bones. A Harvard University employee who was at the Bowl, Elizabeth Derbach, was treated at the Hospital of St. Raphael and released.

The Yale chapter of SigEp, known as Connecticut Delta, was founded about a decade ago. It is one of 241 chapters across the country. The Connecticut Epsilon chapter is at Quinnipiac University.

The chapter has about 100 members and Warren said he was meeting with them in small groups. About a dozen live in the chapter house at 31 High St.

He said he was fitting in the meetings around the schedule of the brothers, who are going home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Besides SigEp, Sigma Nu and Sigma Alpha Epsilon 
have houses next to each other on the street. Students coming in and out of the houses, as well as students walking along High Street, declined comment on the tragedy Sunday.

According to Warren, fraternity brothers have had access to the university’s Health Department in order to seek counsel or advice.

The fraternity’s purpose is to “build balanced men” and to assist them in the transition from high school to college through “co-curricular opportunities,” and to make successful undergraduates and graduates, Warren said.

He said the Yale chapter is an “incredible chapter filled with incredible men.”

“They’re still shocked,” he said.
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