The story of this year's installment of The Game, the annual football clash between Yale and Harvard, was whether Yale could break a four-year losing streak, and whether its quarterback, Patrick Witt, would unleash a classic performance after turning down a Rhodes scholarship interview scheduled for the same day.
Instead, the game itself was overshadowed by the accident that preceded it. A U-Haul truck carrying kegs of beer into a tailgaters' lot slammed into a group of three women outside the Yale Bowl in New Haven. One of the women was killed and the other two were injured, the Associated Press reported.
The U-Haul van accelerated suddenly while driving through the tailgating area, on one of the playing field adjacent to the stadium.
It's not clear why the driver sped up, New Haven Police spokesman David Hartman said. The truck then crashed into other U-Haul vans in the lot, an open playing field used for pregame tailgating parties before Yale home games in New Haven.
Tim Walker of Pawtucket, R.I., said he was grilling sirloin tips when he heard the crash behind him. He turned and saw two people lying on the ground.
People huddled around them trying to help, according to a video that appears to have been recorded shortly after the accident and posted online.
The onlooker said the driver looked dazed after the morning crash, but not intoxicated.
The Yale Daily News said the truck was headed for the tailgate area of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and was driven by a student. While that section of the grounds was closed for investigation, elsewhere "the tailgate continued, uninterrupted," the Daily News reported.
The fraternity's director of communications (fraternities have directors of communications?) wouldn't confirm if the frat had rented the vehicle, but said it would cooperate with the investigation by university police.
The crash understandably overshadowed coverage the game, which Harvard won, 45-7. Witt threw three interceptions.