Posted by Justin Rice November 21, 2011 01:00 PM
Nancy Barry, who graduated from Salem High in 1999, went to New Haven for the weekend to visit a friend and to attend one of the nation’s most storied football rivalries. She was killed before the game after being struck by a U-Haul truck that injured her two friends as well. The Yale undergrad driving the truck, Brendan Ross, passed a field sobriety test and has not been charged.
Driscoll said she was informed by Salem public safety officials over the weekend that Barry was a Salem resident.
“We’ll be reaching out to the family to see if there’s anything we can do, anything they need,” Driscoll said this morning before the annual Bridge the Gap ceremony that is a prelude to the Salem High and Beverly High Thanksgiving football game. “Certainly it’s a tremendous tragedy.
“Obviously it’s a huge unexpected tragedy. For us we want to reach out to find out if there’s any connection with anyone in the city to the family so at least we are asking someone who has knowledge of the situation and try to understand what they are going through. And just so they understand that we’re here and see if there’s anything we can do or there are any needs that they have. They are going through a pretty tough time; 30 years old.”
Barry played for the Salem High soccer team and lettered in track, but Salem High football coach and Athletics Director, Scott Connolly said he didn’t know Barry because he didn’t start his current post at the school until 2005.
“I didn’t know here but we have some staff that graduated with her or coached her, I heard nothing but positive things about her,” said Connolly, noting that some of her former coaches were struggling to deal with the loss at last night’s boys’ soccer banquet. “It’s such a tragedy.
“She was from what I understand a great person and outstanding athlete.”
While Connolly said he will speak to the school principal and the superintendent to see how they want to honor Barry’s memory, Driscoll said she will wait a day or so before reaching out to Barry’s family.
“We really don’t [have any protocol],” Driscoll said. “There are some folks at 30 who are very well known in the community and there’s a different response level. I think it’s driven by what the family wants. I don’t know the individual so we’re going to try to reach out and see what their needs are.
“At a time like this you just want them to know if there are resources or anywhere we can be helpful we want to be. Some of that might be simple things like traffic control or connecting with young families or young kids if there are kids involved; depending on what the nature of the tragedy is. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.”
Justin A. Rice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.