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March 12, 2019 - 3:36pm

Case study of 1987 Pembroke DWI tragedy to be focus of GC Criminal Justice Day April 8

"Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future." -- Theme for 2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 7-13

Genesee County Criminal Justice Day will focus on "A Case Study of the 1987 Pembroke School DWI Tragedy."

The case study will be presented from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, April 8, at Genesee Community College in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building.

On June 10, 1987, an automobile accident killed three Pembroke High School students and their driver-education teacher while they were participating in a hands-on driving exercise on Route 5 in Pembroke. Killed at the scene were Rhonda Reeves, Eric Hamm-Johnson, Mindy Beals -- all 17, and 55-year-old instructor Patrick Collins, who died several hours later.

They were struck head on when Lyndon Goodell, 23, drove recklessly on the wrong side of the road while intoxicated. A wrongful-death lawsuit filed later by the victms' families found Goodell and his passenger, Carol Rokicki Elder, equally at fault. Rokicki Elder gave Goodell the keys to her car and the bottle of whiskey that they shared.

Goodell was convicted in a jury trial in August 1988 of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and several traffic infractions. A month later, Genesee County Judge Glenn R. Morton sentenced Goodell to 7 1/2 to 15 years in state prison.

The wrongful-death suit settlement totaled $340,000 for all four victims, paid out by auto and homeowners insurance companies, including $40,000 from the auto insurance company for Pembroke schools. The sum was considered the maximum obtainable in light of insurance coverage the parties had in effect.

The tragic episode struck the heart of the small Pembroke community.

In next month's presentation, the impact of the trauma will be discussed and details will be shared about how those involved were able to work through the heartbreak and also make positive changes for the future.

This case study will offer different perspectives, including:

  • Sheriff's Office Crash Scene Investigator -- Judge James Orr
  • Prosecuting District Attorney -- Judge Robert C. Noonan
  • Pembroke School teacher -- Gregory Kinal
  • Family members: Deputy Patrick Reeves -- brother; and Patricia Reeves -- mother

Bonita Frazer (MS, CTS, FAAETS) will wrap up the day with a presentation on the topic of trauma and its impact on a community.

Cost to attend is $10; students and seniors pay $5. Make checks out to: Genesee Justice (You can write Criminal Justice Day 2019 in the memo line.)

To attend this event, mail payment by April 1 along with your name, address, city, state, Zip code, phone # and email address.

Click here for a PDF registration form.

Mail to:

Genesee Justice

14 W. Main St.

Batavia, NY 14020

For more details or questions, contact Holly McAllister, of Genesee Justice, at 344-2550, ext. 3929, or email her at:   [email protected]

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