CASTINE, Maine (AP) — Several hundred students, faculty and local residents turned out for a candlelight vigil Sunday night for four Maine Maritime Academy students who died in a burning SUV accident.
Maine Maritime Academy President Jerry Paul spoke about the somber event on the lawn of Leavitt Hall after spending much of the day checking on grieving students.
“Mourn for these young men in their memory. We will never forget her and this moment in the history of the Maine Maritime Academy. They got lost way too soon and before their watch was over. We will go ahead for them and, in due course, ring eight bells in their honor,” Paul said.
The striking of eight bells is a naval tradition in honor of a deceased.
Four students died and three others were injured when a 2013 Range Rover driven by Joshua Goncalves-Radding, 20, of North Babylon, New York, crashed into a tree early Saturday, causing flames to burst. 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.
The Maine Maritime Academy is a four-year college focused on maritime education with areas of study such as engineering, management, science and transportation.
The tragedy hit the close-knit community hard. The town of Castine has a population of about 800 to 900, about the same number of students at the Maine Maritime Academy. Some students serve with the local fire department, which responded to the scene.
State police are investigating the cause of the crash.
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