Driver sentenced to prison for causing fiery crash that claimed 4 lives

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) — The driver who caused a fiery crash that killed four fellow Maine Maritime Academy students in December 2022 was ordered to serve three years in prison for manslaughter at his sentencing on Friday.

Joshua Goncalves-Radding, of North Babylon, New York, pleaded guilty to charges including manslaughter and aggravated drunken driving.

He was traveling at between 106 mph and 111 mph (170 kph and 179 kph) before the SUV struck a tree and caught fire, investigators said. Those killed were Brian Kenealy, 20, of York, Maine; Chase Fossett, 21, of Gardiner, Maine; Luke Simpson, 22, of Rockport, Massachusetts; and Riley Ignacio-Cameron, 20, of Aquinnah, Massachusetts, officials said.

The crash happened after the students had gone out following the last day of classes for the semester.

Goncalves-Radding gave an emotional statement in which he took accountability and apologized to the families. The parents of Fossett asked for a lenient sentence and tearfully hugged him during the break. "No one wanted this to happen,” Laura Fossett said.

“This was a situation where a good person made a horrible decision that cost the lives of four of his best friends," said District Attorney Robert C. Granger. "No sentence the state could recommend or the court could impose can possibly rival the self-imposed sentence defendant recounts every day he wakes up: He faces the realization that he killed his four best friends and injured two others."

Two other students survived, in addition to Goncalves-Radding. The Land Rover the students were riding in was owned by the father of one of them, Dominick Gecoya, of Middleton, Massachusetts. The other survivor was Noelle Tavares, 20, of North Falmouth, Massachusetts.