ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Bucksport teenager who was driving a car involved in a fatal accident last fall was arraigned Friday morning in Ellsworth District Court.
Samantha Goode, 16, has been charged with manslaughter and aggravated driving to endanger in connection with the Oct. 3 crash that killed Taylor Darveau, 15, also of Bucksport. Darveau was a passenger in a 1999 Subaru wagon driven by Goode on Bucks Mills Road when the car went off the road and struck a tree, police have said.
Goode did not admit or deny the charges during the brief appearance, according to Hancock County Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett. Goode is being represented by defense attorney Josh Tardy of Newport.
Because of her age, Goode is being tried as a juvenile. The Bangor Daily News is publicly identifying Goode because of the severity of the charges against her.
Contacted by phone Friday morning, Tardy said that a date had not been set for Goode to admit or deny the charges, which is the equivalent in juvenile proceedings of entering a plea. He said a status conference with the prosecutors in the case has been scheduled for June 17.
Tardy said his client and her family understand the impact the fatal accident has had on Darveau’s family and on Bucksport as a whole. Goode regrets what happened, has cooperated with investigators, and extends her condolences to the Darveaus, he said.
“This is a tragic event that resulted in the loss of a beloved member of the Bucksport community and one of Samantha’s friends,” Tardy said. “She and her family are looking to resolve the matter in an appropriate manner.”
No one else has been charged in the case. Police and prosecutors have declined to comment or provide additional details about the fatal accident.
On the day Darveau died, she and Goode had attended a dinner for football players and cheerleaders held at Bucksport High School, officials have said. The crash was reported to police at 6:22 p.m., not long after the dinner.
Darveau was taken from the accident scene to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where she was pronounced dead. Goode survived the crash and since has resumed taking classes at Bucksport High School.
Aside from the issue of how Goode operated the car, she also was not allowed to have Darveau in the car, according to state law. Being only 16, Goode had an intermediate license, which means she could not carry any passenger who was not an immediate family member unless the passenger was over 20 years old and had possessed a valid license for at least two years.
The law is aimed at reducing the likelihood of accidents, which according to some experts increases when a young driver has other young passengers in his or her car.