RIC student dies from injuries sustained in crash

Victoria L. Demers, of Sutton, Massachusetts, died on Thursday, April 20, 2017, according to officials at Rhode Island College. (WJAR/RIC photo)

A Rhode Island College student-athlete has died two days after she was involved in a crash on Route 146 in North Smithfield.

Victoria L. Demers, of Sutton, Massachusetts, passed away on Thursday, according to RIC officials.

Demers, 18, was a freshman. She also played basketball for the school.

“I am deeply saddened at the loss of women’s basketball student-athlete Victoria Demers,” Rhode Island College Director of Athletics Don Tencher said in a statement. “Victoria was a force to reckoned with both on and off the court. She had an infectious personality that affected everyone in a very positive manner and her freshman season exhibited just a glimpse of the positive things to come on the court. Our RIC Athletic Family has suffered an incredible loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Victoria’s family as well as her teammates.”

Head Women's Basketball Coach Glenn Senecal shared similar sentiments.

“It is with deep sadness that we mourn the loss of Victoria Demers. I’m sorry to say that I only had the opportunity to coach her for one season. But you could see in that one season, Victoria had a bright future ahead of her,” Senecal said. “We are going to miss her work ethic both on and off the basketball court. Whatever Vic did, she always went above and beyond what was expected of her. But more importantly we will miss the person Victoria was. Her personality, infectious smile and energy by far was second to none! Victoria will be missed, but never forgotten."

According to authorities, Demers was driving north on Route 146 near the Pound Hill Road exit when she lost control of her car, which struck the median and crashed into another car in the travel lane around 10:10 a.m. Tuesday. She was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where she later died.

The driver of the second car was identified as 23-year-old Maria Ortiz, 23, of Central Falls. She was also transported to Rhode Island Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

State Police Capt. Matthew Moynihan said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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