A memorial outside Leavitt Hall at Maine Maritime Academy honors four students who died in a car crash just off campus. Credit: Ethan Genter / BDN

The investigation into how four Maine Maritime Academy students died in a fiery car crash Saturday could take weeks, if not months, according to police.

Maine State Police declined Monday to divulge any information on what caused the student driving a Range Rover with six other passengers to go off the road in Castine and hit a tree just off the small seaside campus.

“We will not be commenting any further on this crash as this is an active investigation,” said Shannon Moss, a state police spokesperson. “The cause of the crash and details surrounding the crash are part of the investigation and if released too early could compromise the investigation.”

The lengthy time frame for the investigation is due to the crash’s severity, she said. The driver, Joshua Goncalves-Radding, survived. It’s unclear if he may face any charges related to the crash.

Moss also did not answer questions about the vehicle’s seating capacity or the rescue response.

Maine Maritime students Brian Kenealy, Chase Fossett, Riley Ignacio-Cameron and Luke Simpson all died in the crash early Saturday morning.

Fire officials in Castine did not return requests for comment.

In a press conference before a candlelight vigil Sunday, academy President Jerry Paul said he couldn’t speak to the details of the crash, including where the students were coming from at 2 a.m.. A relative of Simpson’s told the Boston Globe that he and his friends were returning from a concert.

Police’s initial investigation found that Goncalves-Radding, a cadet from North Babylon, New York, was driving on Route 166 with the four men, as well as fellow students Noelle Taveres and Dominick Gecoya.

The three surviving students all suffered injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.

A fundraising effort has been started to support Tavares, who is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and her family.

“We hope [to] surround her with friends and family on her road to recovery,” the organizer, who did not return a request for comment, wrote. “Everything will be used to fund the hotel stays and any way we can help the Tavares family.”

 

As of 5 p.m. Monday, more than 200 people had donated a total of more than $18,000.