There has been a lot of speculation and commentary about the blog published yesterday about Gregory Goodsell, the Hi-Way Safety Systems employee who killed a 13 year old girl in Pembroke while driving drunk in a company vehicle. Her opinion was that Greg Goodsell should be the only one being blamed right now, despite the fact that he was at a company party hours earlier (since the party ended at 11 PM and the crash was at 7 AM), because he made the decision to drink and drive recklessly.
I don’t disagree with this take completely, however, I do put some blame on the company. The fact of the matter is that he drove a company truck to a company party where he was allowed to consume alcohol and leave in the company truck. If it happened like that then it’s completely unacceptable on the part of the company. If he crashed in his own car that would be one thing, but they let him do this in their vehicle.
Goodsell also has a long and documented history of being a drunken menace on the road.
The company also gets millions of dollars worth of state contracts every year, despite a rather checkered past.
Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc. is a vendor and contractor with state contracts. So far in fiscal year 2020, the company has been paid $2.42 million. Since 2009, the company has been paid more than $30.9 million by the state, records show.
Department of Transportation records show Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc. has 118 registered drivers and 94 registered vehicles. In the past two years, their vehicles have been involved in two crashes but no citations were issued. Over the same period, records show the company has been subject to 29 inspections by police or DOT that resulted in 42 violations. Two of those violations involved drivers who were on duty and found to be in possession of a drug, records show.
You have to wonder how those contracts were acquired despite all of that. You also have to wonder why they were hiring someone like this and allowing him to drive a company truck in the first place, considering it was just last year when he was arrested in Norwell for driving recklessly and refusing to pull over for police. Perhaps their Google machine is broken, or maybe they thought he was a “good kid” like Dad did, and looked the other way. Regardless, this was a gamble they took, and therefore they are not without blame here.
Then there’s the fact that another man who was at the party died that night as well.
The death of a man found unresponsive Sunday morning at a hotel in Rockland, Massachusetts, is under investigation, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office. Emergency responders arrived to a Comfort Inn hotel just before 8 a.m. where authorities said an unresponsive man was found. After life-saving measures were performed, the man was taken to South Shore Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man has been identified as 41-year-old Joseph Amaral, of Rockland, according to the district attorney’s office.
A source confirmed to NBC10 Boston that Amaral was at the same holiday party as Gregory Goodsell, a Marshfield man police say was driving under the influence in a crash that claimed the life of 13-year-old Claire Zisseron in Pembroke. That crash also severely injured another teenager, who is fighting for her life. Zisseron’s mother, who was driving, was also hospitalized after the crash, but has since been released. Amaral’s exact cause and manner of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Although this is not necessarily related to the party, when two tragedies happen like this in the same night, and the commonality is that both individuals (Amaral and Goodsell) came from the same company work party, that company deserves scrutiny, and an investigation is warranted.
I don’t know anything about Joe Amaral or the cause of his death, and a lot of people have reached out to us with conflicting stories about the cause of death and the circumstances leading up to it. I won’t speculate, but someone who apparently knew Joe Amaral made a Facebook post that insinuated that the two of them had gotten into a fight that night.
He also says his back is broken.
A post like that seems relevant to the story, and isn’t an unconfirmed rumor. It’s an admission from a man who claims to be a witness. We messaged Richard Blount for comment but have not heard back. We will keep you posted with any updates we can substantiate, but we won’t print rumors.
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