BUCKSPORT, Maine — There will be a substantial development Friday morning in a divisive case that has riveted local residents for nearly a year when a local teenager appears in an Ellsworth courtroom to enter a plea in a vehicular manslaughter case.
Samantha Goode, 17, was driving a 1999 Subaru station wagon on Bucks Mills Road last October when the car veered out of control and struck a tree. Taylor Darveau, 15, a passenger in the vehicle, died from injuries she suffered in the crash.
Goode subsequently was charged by prosecutors with manslaughter and aggravated driving to endanger. Though Goode is considered a juvenile under state law, the Bangor Daily News is identifying her as the defendant because of the severity of the charges.
Hancock County District Attorney Carletta “Dee” Bassano confirmed Thursday that Goode is expected to appear at 10 a.m. Friday at the Hancock County Courthouse to enter a plea as part of a deal reached with Bassano’s office. Bassano would not provide specifics of the agreement, saying the information would be publicly announced in the courtroom.
No one else has been charged in the case. Police and prosecutors have declined to comment on or release additional details about the fatal accident.
Contacted by phone Thursday evening, Darveau’s mother, Christina Darveau, said she and her family will be in the courtroom when Goode enters the plea and said she plans to read a victim impact statement during the hearing. Goode is expected to be sentenced Friday morning, Darveau added. She declined to go into further detail about the anticipated proceeding.
Taylor Darveau, a cheerleader at Bucksport High School, died Oct. 3, 2013, not long after she and Goode attended a dinner at the high school for football players and cheerleaders. The crash was reported to police at 6:22 p.m., a few minutes after the dinner came to a close.
Darveau was taken from the accident scene to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where she was pronounced dead. Goode survived the crash and later resumed taking classes at Bucksport High School.
According to state law, Darveau was not supposed to be in the car because Goode was only 16 and was driving with an intermediate driver’s license. That meant Goode could not carry any passenger who was not an immediate family member unless the passenger was over 20 years old and possessed a valid driver’s 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.