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December 21, 2015

Delaware Valley University wrestlers, coach injured in Las Vegas crash

Team had traveled to Nevada to compete in Desert Duals wrestling tournament

The president of Delaware Valley University released a letter saying that five students and the school's wrestling coach were among those injured when police say a woman deliberately drove her car onto a crowded sidewalk on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night.

In that incident, one person was killed and as many as 36 people injured after "a woman in her 20s swerved onto the sidewalk two or three times on the [Las Vegas] Strip at around 6:40 p.m. along a stretch of the Strip near the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood hotels," police said.

The driver was identified on Monday as Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, of Oregon, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo said on Monday. Holloway is expected to face murder and other charges, prosecutors said.

On Monday, in a letter to students and faculty, Joseph S. Brosnan, president of Delaware Valley University, said the five students and wrestling coach Steve Cantrell were injured – none seriously – in the crash.

"Our wrestling team is in Las Vegas to compete in the Desert Duals tournament. The car struck five of our student-athletes and our athletic director/head wrestling coach, Steve Cantrell, as they were on their way to a movie after working out," said Brosnan's letter.

Brosnan noted all the student-athletes and Cantrell have since been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery. 

In an interview Monday afternoon, Laurie Ward, a spokesperson for the university, said that the wrestlers were enrolled in "all years," though there was one freshman involved and, while she wouldn't give specifics, Ward said the students and Cantrell only suffered minor injuries. 

"There were no head injuries or anything serious," she said. "Mostly, bumps and bruises." 

Ward also declined to identify any of the injured student-athletes. 

The Delaware Valley University wrestling team, Brosnan said, has decided to withdraw from competition today, Dec. 21.

In the letter, Brosnan also included a comment from Cantrell after the crash.

“We need to feel blessed. The way our students acted at the scene and the way they were caring for everyone was amazing,” Cantrell was quoted as saying in Brosnan's letter. “I called the tournament director and said, ‘(I)t doesn’t make sense to focus on wrestling today.’ They have gone through something emotional and are processing what they witnessed.”

Brosnan said the players "are recovering emotionally and physically from this ordeal," and they are all expected to be back on the school's campus by Tuesday. 

The wrestling team, Brosnan said, is working with a counselor in Las Vegas, and the school intends to continue to provide counseling services for students after they return home.

Reuters contributed to this report.