A Yale University student charged with negligent homicide for running down a woman tailgating outside a football game has reached a plea agreement in which he would receive a special form of probation and avoid a criminal record, his attorney said Friday.
Brendan Ross, of O’Fallon, Mo., is due to appear Friday in New Haven Superior Court. The deal reduces charges against him to reckless driving and reckless endangerment, enabling him to participate in a program for first-time offenders in which the charges are dismissed if they successfully complete probation, said his attorney, William Dow III.
Ross would serve 400 hours of community service. Ross plans to plead guilty to two infractions, traveling too fast and unsafe starting, Dow said.
Police say Ross was driving a rental truck carrying beer kegs through a popular tailgating area before the Harvard-Yale game when witnesses saw the vehicle turn a corner and speed up, striking three women. Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Mass., was killed.
“Brendan Ross is an outstanding young man who was involved in a tragic accident,” Dow said in a statement. “He will emerge from this without a criminal record, but the memory of that tragedy remains. Brendan and his family have extended their condolences to Ms. Barry’s family when the accident occurred. Ms. Barry remains in their prayers.”
Another woman who was struck, Sarah Short, filed a lawsuit against Ross and U-Haul.
Ross passed a field sobriety test after the collision and police said he was cooperative in the investigation.
Yale tightened its tailgating rules since the crash. It now bans kegs at university athletic events and other functions. Also, oversized vehicles, such as box trucks and large commercial vehicles, are barred from university lots at athletic events unless they are driven by a preapproved authorized vendor.
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