Originally published 10:30 a.m. July 2, 2013.
The Dana Point man who crashed his car into Marco Forster Middle School nearly two years ago, turning the vehicle into a giant fireball that killed his passenger, is dead.
Orange County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Gail Krause said Alexander August Goodrich died Saturday at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, although officials haven't yet determined the cause.
His attorney, Calvin Chris Schneider III, however, said it appears to be suicide.
The crash "was just absolutely horrific for this kid, and to be subsequently prosecuted for his best friend’s death was devastating to him," Schneider said. A friend found him unresponsive at his part-time Newport Beach apartment, he said.
Krause said the investigation would take two to three months because the coroner’s office has ordered a toxicology report.
Goodrich was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and hit and run for the Aug. 16, 2011 crash that took the life of Bryan Ferguson. Both were 21 and living in Dana Point at the time.
"Witnesses said he was traveling at a very high rate of speed for a very long time," Assistant District Attorney Nancy Hayashida told Patch in January 2012. Driving erratically, he ran at least one red light, she said.
Passersby rushed to help the men, pulling Goodrich from the wreckage. But Ferguson was trapped inside the burning car.On Monday evening, Ferguson's mother, Jo Anne, posted a note on Facebook referring to Goodrich's death: “I know Bryan was there to meet you with open arms. Rest in Paradise Goody.” In a separate post, she said: “I forgive you Alex.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: An early version of this story misidentified Bryan Ferguson's mother.