Plea Deal in Yale Tailgate Death

A Yale University student charged in a fatal tailgating crash at the 2011 Harvard-Yale football game received a special form of probation and will avoid a criminal record under a deal with prosecutors.

Brendan Ross, of O'Fallon, Mo., appeared on Friday in New Haven Superior Court and pleaded guilty to two infractions: improper start and unreasonable speed and was granted accelerated rehabilitation for two, years which will end on Jan. 31, 2015.

Police said Ross was driving a truck carrying beer kegs before the game when witnesses saw the vehicle turn a corner and speed up, striking three women. Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Massachusetts, was killed.

Ross had been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.

His attorney, William Dow III, told the Associated Press that his client struck a deal that reduces the charges to reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Ross would serve 400 hours of community service, completing 200 each year.

Ross' license will be suspended for 90 days. He must also cover the medical expenses of one of the victims, up to $5,000.

None of the victims or Barry's family appeard in court, but they wrote letters  to the court in support of the sentencing.

They wote that they believed that Ross should be punished, but this was a case of a good person who made a mistake and the punishment fit the crime. They also said that he has been remorseful and even reached out to the families and victims to apologize.

Civil lawsuits are pending.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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