Yale student gets probation in tailgate death

Yale student gets probation in tailgate death

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Yale University student received a special form of probation Friday that will leave him with no criminal record for an accident in 2011 in which the truck he was driving struck and killed a woman and injured two others during tailgating at a Yale-Harvard football game.

Brendan Ross, of O'Fallon, Mo., was granted accelerated rehabilitation in New Haven Superior Court. The program is for first-time offenders whose charges are dismissed if they successfully complete probation.

Ross, 22, will serve 400 hours of community service. Ross pleaded guilty to two infractions, traveling too fast and unsafe starting.

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, a 30-year-old from Salem, Mass., was killed.

Ross had been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and reckless driving, but prosecutors agreed to change the charges to reckless driving and reckless endangerment so that he would be eligible for the program. The victim's family and the other victims agreed with the resolution of the case, attorneys said.

``This accident was solely caused by the recklessness of this defendant,'' said Prosecutor David Strollo.

But Strollo said Ross did not intentionally cause the accident. ``By all accounts, he was appropriately remorseful,'' Strollo said.

Strollo said Ross was driving a rented U-Haul and when he reached a parking lot pedestrian traffic was blocking the way. Ross revved the engine in an effort to get the pedestrians to move, but the car took off, Strollo said.

Ross said he was hitting the brake but it was the gas pedal, Strollo said.

``Oh my God, what did I do? It was an accident,'' Ross said, according to Strollo.

Ross passed a field sobriety test after the collision and police said he was cooperative in the investigation.

Ross did not comment in court other than to answer the judge's questions and enter a plea for the infractions.

Strollo said an expert found no defects with the vehicle that contributed to the accident and a defense expert came to the same conclusion.

Ross is grateful for the compassion shown by the Barry family and the other victims, said his attorney, William Dow III.

``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.

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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Caps recall goalie Pheonix Copley after Braden Holtby 'tweaked something' in Dallas game


Caps recall goalie Pheonix Copley after Braden Holtby 'tweaked something' in Dallas game

You thought the Caps had a goalie rotation before, but now they have added a third netminder in the mix.

Pheonix Copley has been recalled from the Hershey Bears and will backup Philipp Grubauer for Washington's game in Detroit, the team announced Thursday.

The move comes in response to an injury concern for Braden Holtby.


Dallas Stars forward Remi Elie collided with Holtby midway through the third period on Tuesday as Holtby was extending to make a save. Holtby reacted awkwardly to the collision and could be seen skating and flexing his leg during the next stoppage.

With only nine games remaining in the regular season, Holtby's injury is a major concern. Given his recent struggles, the final few weeks of the season offered a chance for Holtby to get his game back to form. Just where his game will be when he is 100-percent healthy again is certainly a storyline to watch.


The good news for Washington, however, is that Grubauer is perhaps more ready this season to lead the team than he ever has been and confidence in him around the team should be high.

Since Thanksgiving, Grubauer has played in 22 games with a 17-11-4 record, a .939 save percentage, 1.85 GAA and two shutouts. No goalie who has played in 20 games or more has registered a better save percentage or GAA. He will certainly be looked upon to carry the load until Holtby returns. Whether this means he now has the inside track on starting in the playoffs, however, remains to be seen. That will depend largely on just when Holtby is ready to return and how Grubauer plays down the stretch.

Copley, 26, has gone 14-16-6 with two shutouts, a .898 save percentage and 2.86 GAA in 38 games in Hershey this season. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Washington in 2014. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues in the package that netted the Caps T.J. Oshie, but was reacquired by Washington in Feb. 2017 in a trade deadline deal that included Kevin Shattenkirk.

At the time, it was believed Copley would be the team's backup for the 2017-18 season with Grubauer likely headed to Vegas in the expansion draft. Vegas, however, took Nate Schmidt instead which led to Copley spending the season in Hershey. The Caps now will be happy for the extra goalie depth for as long as Holtby's health remains a concern.

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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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