Groton man arraigned on manslaughter charge in Norwich firefighter's death

A 50-year-old Groton man accused of causing the March 9 crash on Interstate 395 that resulted in the death of Norwich firefighter Benjamin De Mond was arraigned Monday in Superior Court in Norwich on additional charges, including manslaughter and assault.

Willis Goodale has been held at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution in lieu of $750,000 bond since he allegedly caused a multiple-car accident when he attempted to cut across I-395 via the emergency turnaround between exits 79 and 79A. He was charged immediately with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle. He pleaded not guilty to both charges in April.

During a court appearance Monday, police re-arrested Goodale and charged him with second-degree manslaughter, first-degree reckless endangerment, three counts of second-degree assault, no insurance, failure to maintain proper lane, improper use of an emergency turnaround and improper turn. Police upped Goodale's bond to $1 million.

Goodale is being represented by the public defender's office.

According to state police, Goodale allegedly attempted to cut across to the emergency turnaround after leaving the Mobil service station. De Mond, 33, was driving south when he lost control of his Nissan Maxima as he tried unsuccessfully to avoid Goodale's Jeep Cherokee. After the collision, De Mond's car ran through the turnaround and into oncoming traffic, troopers said, hitting Montville resident Andrew Crouch's car head-on and causing it to roll over. De Mond's two young sons were seriously injured in the crash and spent weeks in the hospital.

De Mond's car then spun into the right lane, where it hit a vehicle driven by Albert Fisher, 58, of Lisbon.

Crouch, 59, was also seriously injured and spent days recovering at The William W. Backus Hospital.


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