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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Westport Student, 20, Killed in Minnesota Crash

UPDATE (adds service details) A 20-year-old Westport man was among three college students killed Friday after their SUV spun out of control on an icy road near Northfield, Minn. and crashed into an oncoming tractor-trailer, the Minnesota State Patrol said.

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Michael Goodgame: 2011 Staples graduate. Contributed photo

Michael D. Goodgame, 20, died along with two other students at Carleton College in Northfield, which is about 40 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the State Patrol said.

Michael, a 2011 Staples High School graduate and a junior majoring in political science, was the son of Marcia and Dan Goodgame. Marcia Logan, her professional name, is communications coordinator at the Westport Library and Dan Goodgame is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

The others killed were James Adams, 20, of St. Paul, Minn., and Paxton Harvieuc, 21, of Stillwater, Minn, the State Patrol said. The accident occurred at about 3 p.m.

Two other Carleton students were injured in crash, including the SUV’s driver, William Sparks, 20, of Evanston, Ill., and passenger Conor Eckert, 19, of Seattle. Both were in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis on Friday evening, news reports said.

No alcohol was detected in Sparks’ system, the State Patrol said, adding that all five men were wearing seat belts. The SUV’s airbags had been deployed.

All were members of the Carleton Ultimate Team, one of the nation’s top Ultimate Frisbee teams, according to Eric Sieger, media relations director for Carleton College.  He said they were headed to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to fly to a tournament at Stanford University in California.

A witness at the scene, Andrew Struss, 32, of St. Peter, Minn. told the Northfield News newspaper that “the roads were horrible. ... It looked like the Toyota slid right into the semi and was broadsided between the wheels.”

Carleton President Steven Poskanzer released a statement late Friday offering condolences to the students’ family and friends.

“The collective Carleton soul aches for the loss of these three young men,” Poskanzer said. “Right now, we need to focus all our love and compassion on supporting the families and friends of all these young men, along with everyone in our community who cares for them.”

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Michael Goodgame is featured on Carleton College’s Ultimate Frisbee team page. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The truck driver was identified as Danny Terry, of Pioneer, Tenn., and he suffered no apparent injuries, the State Patrol said.

Today, hundreds of ­Carleton students and faculty packed ­Skinner Memorial Chapel for an 11 a.m. vigil, overflowing from the pews and leaving many to stand as they shared memories and anecdotes as tears flowed, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported.

Afterward, they streamed out into the cold, giving one another support as they braced against both sorrow and a harsh wind.

“It’s a real blow to the campus to lose three young men like this, who were so talented, so bright, and had their whole future ahead of them,” Sieger said. The Carleton community is extremely close-knit, Sieger added. Almost all the students live in dormitories.

According to Michael Goodgame’s LinkedIn page, he was managing editor of The Lens, Carleton’s independent student magazine, and a columnist for the weekly student-run newspaper, the Carletonian. He was studying Arabic and Middle East modern politics.

Last summer, he was a research intern at No Labels in Washington, D.C., a bipartisan group whose aim is to inspire a grass-roots movement to reject political extremes.

As a Carleton freshman, he wrote an opinion column for the Minneapolis StarTribune called “If rules can be bent, where does it stop?” about rule-breaking. It began with the eye-catching lead: “At age 7, I saw my mother breaking the law.” (She was speeding.)

“My primary concern is for youth development,” he wrote. “I, along with most people, was taught the notion that laws are flimsy and that as long as you act with enough stealth, you can get away with breaking them. I fear the implications of this lesson.”

At Staples, he was a member of the swimming and diving team.

Sam Goodgame, Michael’s brother, is a 2007 Staples graduate who went on to West Point and served with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan. He wrote about his experiences and what led him from Westport to Afghanistan in a Memorial Day column last year for Inklings, the Staples newspaper.

Michael is also survived by another older brother, Clayton, who is studying at Oxford University in England where he working on a master’s in Middle Eastern studies. He is a 2005 Staples graduate where he was on the swimming and diving team.

Carleton students took to Twitter to express their grief.

“Michael Goodgame was great writer, a tenacious editor, a caring human being.  I’m grateful to have worked with him. He will be missed,” wrote Haley Johnson.

The family said a memorial service for Michael will be held Thursday, March 6, at 4 p.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 75 Church Lane. A reception will follow in the church’s Branson Hall. Burial will take place on Friday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at the Cemetery of Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 80 Kings Highway North,

For anyone who wishes to remember Michael in a tangible way, the family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be written to the “CHT Church, Michael Goodgame Memorial Fund,” Christ and Holy Trinity Church, 75 Church Lane, Westport, CT 06880. The fund will be used to enable underprivileged young people to participate in the sports that Michael loved.

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Posted 03/01/14 at 11:05 AM  Permalink



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