Local
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
fatal crash

Suspect in Alleged OUI Crash That Killed Teen Had Lengthy History of Driving Violations

Prosecutors said the defendant admitted he "drank way too much" and used cocaine at a holiday work party before the fatal crash

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The man accused of killing a 13-year-old girl in an alleged OUI car crash has been held without bail after a judge found him to be a danger to the public.

Gregory Goodsell, 31, of Marshfield, was in court on Friday for a dangerousness hearing, where he was ordered to be held without bail pending his trial in connection to the early-morning crash on Sunday in Pembroke that claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl.

Pembroke police officer David Clauss, one of the first officers to arrive at the scene of the crash, testified Friday that Goodsell was sitting outside his vehicle making loud statements to no one in particular.

"He was speaking loudly, he had very slurred speech," Clauss said. "He made multiple statements while sitting on the ground, one of which was, 'I'm so [expletive] up, I now I shouldn't have been driving. I can't believe I did this. I drank too much. I'm so sorry.'"

Also Friday, the company that employed Goodsell said he's been fired and that it would cooperate with investigations into the crash.

Goodsell was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he decided to get behind the wheel of a company vehicle after attending a work holiday party. The company, Hi-Way Safety Systems, said in a statement that he "avoided" a demand from coworkers to give them keys to the vehicle the morning of the crash.

"This has been a terrible tragedy and a nightmare for all involved," Hi-Way Safety said in the statement.

At Goodsell's hearing Friday, prosecutors said has an extensive driving history that involves 35 incidents, including a previous accident that led to reckless operation, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges.

Previously, they'd said he acknowledged to police at the scene of the crash that he “drank way too much.” He also allegedly admitted to using cocaine at the holiday party.

The fatal crash was reported at 6:50 a.m. near the intersection of Church and Oak Streets. Authorities said Goodsell was driving a company vehicle at the time of the incident and prosecutors said a half-empty bottle of whiskey was found in the truck after the defendant allegedly slammed into a Subaru.

Goodsell was driving 70 mph and ran a red light, police said.

Claire Zisseron, an 8th grade student at Rising Tide Charter Public School in Plymouth, was killed in the crash. Her 13-year-old friend was also critically injured in the incident and the driver, who was identified as Elizabeth Zisseron, was injured but has since been released from the hospital.

Goodsell faces nine charges, including manslaughter and drunken driving, in connection to the deadly crash. He is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 10 for a probable cause hearing.

In a separate investigation, a 41-year-old man who also attended the same holiday party was found dead in a hotel room on Sunday. Joseph Amaral, of Marshfield, was an employee of Hi-Way Safety Systems and was found at the Comfort Inn in Rockland. His cause of death remains under investigation, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney.

The statement that Hi-Way Safety Systems released Friday didn't refer to Amaral but did extended sympathy to the victims of the crash.

"The shock and sadness the families of these victims are experiencing is unimaginable. It is impossible to adequately express the sorrow felt for their tragic loss," the statement said.

The statement also said that Goodsell was fired because of the crash and repeated company violations: "unauthorized use of a company vehicle for personal use during non-work hours on the evening of December 28th and possession of alcohol in the vehicle."

Hi-Way Safety Systems said it won't issue any more statements during hte investigations but asserted that it "has a strong work and safety track record spanning over 40 year in Massachusetts, across New England and New York."

Goodsell's father, Jay Goodsell, said his son has a 21-month-old daughter and is a "good kid" who messed up.

"I assure you my son feels terrible," he said.

Contact Us