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Victim's estate sues over
2011 Yale Bowl accident

The estate of a woman who was run over by a Yale undergraduate outside the 2011 Yale-Harvard football game is suing the student and the university over her death.

Nancy Barry, a 30-year-old visitor from Massachusetts, died after Brendan Ross ’13 lost control of the U-Haul truck he was driving to his fraternity's tailgate party. The crash, in a parking lot outside the Yale Bowl, also injured a student at the Yale School of Management, Sarah Short ’13MBA, and a Harvard employee, Elizabeth Dernbach.

Ross passed a field sobriety test and said he had not been drinking before the accident, which occurred around 9:30 on the morning of The Game. This February, he pleaded guilty to reduced charges and received a special form of probation that will eventually clear his record.

‘‘I expect that even Yale will agree that it was foolish to permit and encourage the use of these U-Haul trucks for student tailgating parties,’’ Paul Edwards, attorney for Barry's estate, said in a statement.

The suit also names the city of New Haven and Ross's fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, as defendants. ‘‘Requiring Brendan Ross to try to maneuver this large truck through what was sure to be tight spaces in streets and chaotic parking lots overflowing with pedestrians, party-goers and other traffic simply was asking for trouble,’’ Edwards said.

Yale responded with a statement: ‘‘The tragic vehicular accident that took the life of Nancy Barry saddened the Yale community, and we feel the deepest sympathy for her family and loved ones who suffered such a terrible loss. ‘We do not believe, however, that Yale or those working on behalf of the University were a cause of the accident.’’

After the tragedy, Yale changed its rules for tailgate parties. New restrictions include a ban on box trucks like the U-Haul that Ross was driving and on beer kegs, which he was transporting; there's also a vehicle-free area for student tailgates.

Short, the management student, is also suing Ross and his fraternity.

Filed under The Game, tailgating, Nancy Barry, Brendan Rossn Ross
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