The driver in a crash that killed four Maine Maritime Academy students in December 2022 was sentenced to three years in prison and four years of probation in a Hancock County courtroom Friday.

Joshua Goncalves-Radding, 21, of North Babylon, New York, was convicted on four counts of manslaughter, four counts of aggravated operating under the influence and five other charges tied to the deadly crash in Castine. He faced up to seven years in prison.

“What happened on December 10 (2022) was horrific,” Justice Patrick Larson told Goncalves-Radding after the sentencing. “But it’s up to you to have what happens after that date define you. You are on the right track.”

According to court documents, Goncalves-Radding was driving six of his friends home from the G-Force bar in Bangor before the December 2022 crash that killed Brian Kenealy, 20, of York; Chase Fossett, 21, of Gardiner; Luke Simpson, 22, of Rockport, Massachusetts; and Riley Ignacio-Cameron, 20, of Aquinnah, Massachusetts.

He was driving over 100 mph while under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of the car and it hit a tree and burst into flames. The collision caused the engine and transmission to separate from the vehicle. He was driving a stretch of Route 166 in Castine that has a 35 mph speed limit, and the crash occurred only feet from a stop sign when, the judge said.

Four passengers were “incinerated” and died on impact while the other three, including Goncalves-Radding, escaped, court documents show. Other students from the maritime college, who were renting a home near the crash, ran to help Goncalves-Radding and Noelle Tavares, of Falmouth, Massachusetts, out of the car.


Goncalves-Radding, Tavares and passenger Dominick Gecoya of  Middleton, Massachusetts, were sent to the hospital with severe injuries.

The 2013 Land Rover, which belonged to Gecoya’s father, had to be ratchet-strapped to stay intact while being lifted by a wrecker, court records show.

Fiery Crash Maine

A memorial outside Leavitt Hall at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine on Dec. 11, 2022, honors four students who died the day before in a fiery crash just off campus. Ethan Genter/The Bangor Daily News via AP

Goncalves-Radding’s friends asked him to be the designated driver that night because he was familiar with the vehicle, according to court documents.

Tabs from the bar, which were included in court records, show that Goncalves-Radding purchased a total of six shots of Jameson whiskey. Almost two hours after the crash, his blood alcohol content was 0.167%. The legal limit is 0.08%.

Hospital staff told investigators that they could not figure out the correct date of birth for Goncalves-Radding or Tavares because they were carrying fake IDs, as was Gecoya. All three were under age at the time.

Special conditions for Goncalves-Radding’s probation include that he does not use or possess alcohol, marijuana or illegal drugs. He also will be subject to random searches and testing.


He was fined $2,100 and will not be able to drive for 10 years.

Laura and Scott Fossett, the parents of Chase Fossett, spoke about the loss of their son in court Friday.

“He loved everyone in that car and no one wanted this to happen,” Laura Fossett said to Goncalves-Radding. “I know Chase would not want this to ruin your life.”

They said their son wouldn’t want them to be sad. And as Christians, they believe they will see him again.

“With love and light, there is forgiveness, and Josh, we forgive you,” Scott Fossett said.



Goncalves-Radding apologized to the families in his court statement Friday, listing the first and last names of each deceased student.

“We did everything together, and I never meant to hurt them,” he said.

In a statement submitted for the sentencing, Goncalves-Radding’s counselor, Heather Clark, wrote that he has “one of the worst cases of survivor’s guilt” she’s ever seen and has wished he could take their place.

She also wrote that he attends Alcoholics Anonymous and hasn’t had one drink since returning from the hospital.

Goncalves-Radding said that he was scared to go to prison for a long time.

“As much as I can say I’m sorry for what I did, no apologies will ever make a difference,” Goncalves-Radding said.


Defense attorney Walter McKee said Goncalves-Radding is “relieved” that sentencing is over.

He said the families embraced in the courtroom, which was “very powerful.”

“It’s kind of hard to get a real sense of what a sentencing is like, you had to be there to get a sense of the emotion,” McKee said.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Goncalves-Radding agreed to an 18-year sentence, with all but seven years suspended, on the manslaughter charges, but was allowed to ask the judge for less prison time.

Tavares also is facing charges for her alleged involvement in the crash. According to court documents, Gecoya gave Tavares the key fob to the vehicle. She allegedly called Gecoya after the crash to apologize for “letting Josh drive that night.”

Tavares’ attorney did not respond to a request for an interview Friday night.

Gecoya is not facing any charges.

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