What was supposed to be a great fall afternoon enjoying one of college football's oldest rivalries has ended in tragedy. The Yale Daily News reports that shortly before 10:00 a.m. Saturday, three people tailgating the 128th Harvard-Yale game in New Haven were struck by a U-Haul truck driven by a Yale student, killing one tailgater and injurying the other two:
"The incident took place at 9:49 a.m. One of the victims, a 30-year-old woman from Massachusetts unaffiliated with Harvard or Yale, was pronounced dead at 10:16 a.m. at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and another, a New Haven woman and student in the School of Management, is in serious but stable condition at Y-NHH, Hartman said. The third victim was taken to St. Raphael's Hospital and treated for minor injuries."
The AP reports that the U-Haul truck was carrying beer kegs, and that the victims were struck after the truck suddenly, and unexplainably, accelerated. An onlooker to the crash posted a video on YouTube showing victims awaiting an amblance as police arrived on the scene:
"We're not getting a pulse," said someone crouched near one victim. One tailgater who heard the crash behind him turned to see two people lying on the ground, and told AP:
"'The driver looked shocked. Absolutely shocked,' Walker said. Police have not said whether alcohol was a factor.
'He didn't look intoxicated or anything like that,' Walker added. 'He had a dazed look like he had just hit someone.'"
The driver is in police custody and the woman who was killed was pronounced dead at about 10:15 a.m. The Yale Daily News reports that the U-Haul was heading for the site of the Sigma Phi Epsilon tailgate, and crashed into a smaller U-Hail in addition to the three victims. Students at the scene told the Daily News that emergency responders gave one of the victims CPR for 10 minutes.
At the start of halftime, the Yale Bowl stopped for a moment of silence for the victims. The announcer, Mark Ryba, delivered a statement from the University confirming that one victim had died and two were injured in the crash, according to the Daily News.
"The Yale community is deeply saddened by the tragic vehicle accident that occurred at a Yale Bowl parking lot this morning," the school said in statement.
"Yale extends our sympathies and prayers to the family of the woman who was killed and hopes for the speedy recovery of the two women hurt," the statement said. "Our thoughts are also with those who witnessed or were affected by this tragic accident."
As for the game itself, Harvard won 45-7 for its fifth straight victory over Yale. Police gave details of the tragedy to the New Haven Register:
One '90 Yale Alum at the scene told the Register that he was furious about regulations on tailgating partying and drinking. "This is the stupidest thing the school could do to turn off alumni," said Ken T., adding that Yale is dependent on alumni for donations.