Maine

Maine Maritime Academy Holds Vigil for 4 Students Killed in Fiery Crash

Two of the students who died were from Maine and two from Massachusetts

News Center Maine

Several hundred students, faculty and local residents turned out Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil for four Maine Maritime Academy students killed in a fiery SUV crash.

Jerry Paul, president of Maine Maritime Academy, addressed the somber event on the lawn of Leavitt Hall after spending much of the day checking in on grief-stricken students.

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“Mourn these young men in their memory. We will never forget them nor this moment in the history of Maine Maritime Academy. They were lost way too soon and before their watch was over. We will carry on for them and at the appropriate time ring eight bells in their honor,” Paul said.

The striking of eight bells is a sea tradition honoring someone who died.

Four students died and three others were hurt when a 2013 Range Rover driven by Joshua Goncalves-Radding, 20, of North Babylon, New York, crashed into a tree and burst info flames early Saturday. Goncalves-Radding and two other students survived and were taken to local hospitals.

The dead were identified as 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.

Gardiner Area High School Principal Chad Kempton spoke to News Center Maine about one of the victims, Chase Fossett, who graduated from the school in 2020. "He was fantastic, he really was," he said. Kempton said Fossett was liked by classmates and teachers alike.

 "[He was] a really quiet kind of reserved kid, always had a smile, always very happy, kept to himself, but had a really strong circle of friends ... liked by everyone – and I say that with all honesty."  Kempton went on to say that Fossett was a driven young man with goals and had been an honor student and athlete who played soccer and lacrosse during his time in high school. 

“Many emotions with such a tragic loss will certainly be felt across our community,” York School Department Superintendent Lou Goscinski said about the 'untimely passing' of Brian Kenealy, who graduated from York High School in 2021.

"What I can say is that: We are deeply saddened and sorrowful to have learned about the untimely passing of Brian Kenealy, a 2021 graduate of York High School, in a car accident in Castine, Maine. Brian was an outstanding student-athlete who was beloved by his classmates, faculty, and staff. He took his skills to the Maine Maritime Academy where he continued to excel academically and on the soccer field. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family as well as all who knew and loved him. Brian will be greatly missed. The York School Department will have counselors available next week and for as long as needed to support our students and school employees to cope with the loss."

Maine Maritime Academy is a four-year college that focuses on maritime training with areas of study including engineering, management, science and transportation.

The tragedy hit the tight-knit community hard. The town of Castine has about 800 to 900 residents, roughly the same number of students at Maine Maritime Academy. Some students serve with the local fire department that responded to the scene.

State police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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