CASTINE, Maine — Several hundred students, faculty and local residents turned out Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil for four Maine Maritime Academy students killed in a fiery SUV crash.
Jerry Paul, president of Maine Maritime Academy, addressed the somber event on the lawn of Leavitt Hall after spending much of the day checking in on grief-stricken students.
“Mourn these young men in their memory. We will never forget them nor this moment in the history of Maine Maritime Academy. They were lost way too soon and before their watch was over. We will carry on for them and at the appropriate time ring eight bells in their honor,” Paul said.
The striking of eight bells is a sea tradition honoring someone who died.
Four students died and three others were hurt when a 2013 Range Rover driven by Joshua Goncalves-Radding, 20, of North Babylon, New York, crashed into a tree and burst info flames early Saturday. 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.
Maine Maritime Academy is a four-year college that focuses on maritime training with areas of study including engineering, management, science and transportation.
The tragedy hit the tight-knit community hard. The town of Castine has about 800 to 900 residents, roughly the same number of students at Maine Maritime Academy. Some students serve with the local fire department that responded to the scene.
State police are investigating the cause of the crash.