Watch CBS News

Student Pleads Guilty In Crash Near Endicott College That Killed Childhood Friend

BOSTON (CBS) – A Vermont student pleaded guilty Thursday to drunk driving charges related to an April crash near Endicott College that killed his childhood friend.

Joseph Castano, 20, was speeding in his father's BMW in April when he crashed into a utility pole on Hale Street in Beverly, across from the Endicott College campus.

Craig Sampson, a 19-year-old Endicott student and a close friend of Castano's, was killed in the crash.

Endicott College
Police say Joseph Castano was driving this car that crashed into a pole April 23 near Endicott College. (WBZ-TV)

Prosecutors said Castano's blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit. He was charged with motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of liquor.

On Thursday, Castano pleaded guilty. He was ordered to serve 3.5 years in jail in addition to three years of probation.

The victim's father, Craig Sampson Jr., delivered an emotion plea outside the courthouse after Castano was sentenced.

Craig Sampson Jr.
Craig Sampson Jr. offers an emotional plea outside court. (WBZ-TV)

He said that his family did not want Castano to be punished as revenge or retaliation. Instead, the family wanted Castano sentenced to send a message.

"The fact of the matter is that alcohol was a factor in this. People made decisions to drink. People made decisions to drive," said Sampson Jr. "Please, please, please, please think. Think, think, think before you make these decisions. Put things in place if you're going to drink that other people have your keys so you don't drive."

Sampson Jr. said he learned recently that his son got into the car to console Castano, who was involved in an altercation. Castano sped off and crashed.

"I hope that our loss, as painful as it is, can maybe prevent somebody else from having the same loss," Sampson Jr. said through tears.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.