Investigators: What did owners know about drug-fueled party and when?

Investigators: What did owners know about drug-fueled party and when?

PEMBROKE, Mass. — A search warrant reveals new details about Hi-Way Safety Systems’ holiday party, which began a night that changed many lives in tragic ways.

After that party, two employees were charged with driving drunk, including Gregory Goodsell, who was allegedly behind the wheel in a fatal crash that killed 13-year-old Claire Zisserson.

Another employee was found unresponsive at a hotel in Rockland, reportedly after getting into a fight at an after-party at their bosses’ house. He later died. A fourth employee was arrested for disorderly conduct at the same hotel.

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A major takeaway from court documents obtained from Plymouth County District Court is that every hour on Dec. 29, 2019 brought more damage and disturbing reports to the owners of Hi-Way Safety Systems.

Now, investigators want to know who knew what, when they knew it and what role they played.

From a 12-page search warrant request, Boston 25 News has learned new details about the night of Hi-Way Safety Systems' holiday party.

It points to an after-party in the pool house of company owners, and husband and wife, Kenneth Horn and Kathy DeLong in Pembroke.

A witness at the party says he saw people drinking and using cocaine.

"When asked about Kenneth Horn, [the witness] said 'he was in and out, running around like crazy,'" documents show.

Documents also indicate Horn knew cocaine was being used, "he definitely saw it, it was right there on the table."

Investigators searched the couple’s pool house, saying they found a white powder residue substance on the countertop.

They also took a dozen swabs of red/brown stains on the counter, floor and cabinet doors of the pool house.

State police asked for Horn's phone to search, saying he called his lawyer and then said no.

He put his phone in airplane mode before state troopers seized it.

From that phone, investigators are looking for evidence of communications from anyone at that party and any information relating to any of the incidents and alleged crimes that played out in the early morning hours after that holiday party.

A Rockland company whose now former employee is accused of using a company vehicle while driving drunk and killing a 13-year-old girl can no longer bid on state contracts, MassDOT announced on Friday.

Hi-Way Safety Systems, a construction company, came under scrutiny after a fatal crash in Pembroke involving one of its employees, Gregory Goodsell of Marshfield, killed 13-year-old Claire Zisserson and seriously injured two others.

Goodsell is facing manslaughter and OUI charges in connection with the fatal crash on Dec. 29. Hi-Way Safety Systems has since terminated his employment, according to an attorney for the company.

In a Jan. 2 letter to Kathy DeLong, president of Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc., MassDOT said it has revoked the company’s prequalification certification “until further notice.”

As a result, the company “will not be able to bid on new work or work as a subcontractor” on state contracts, the letter states.

"Based on recent media reports, MassDOT has serious concerns with the current management structure of Hi-Way Safety Systems, Inc. and its ability to make responsible decisions concerning the conduct of its managers and employees,” MassDOT stated in its letter.

Goodsell allegedly told police he was coming from a Christmas party at his boss’s home when the crash occurred. Another Hi-Way Systems employee was found dead at a hotel in Rockland the same morning after allegedly attending the same party.

Police allege Goodsell admitted he was drunk and had used cocaine when he drove through a red light and crashed into a Subaru on Route 139, killing Claire and seriously injuring 13-year-old Kendall Zemotel. Zisserson’s mother, who was driving the Subaru, was also injured.

The man accused of causing a deadly crash in Pembroke will be held without bail until a trial after a hearing Friday, in which more than 35 previously alleged driving infractions were revealed.

Gregory Goodsell, of Marshfield, who was arraigned earlier this week on manslaughter and OUI charges connected to a Dec. 29 crash that killed 13-year-old Claire Zisserson and seriously injured two others, will appear in Plymouth District Court for a dangerousness hearing.

Police allege Goodsell admitted he was drunk and had used cocaine when he drove through a red light and crashed into a Subaru on Route 139, killing Claire and seriously injuring 13-year-old Kendall Zemotel. Zisserson’s mother, who was driving the Subaru, was also injured.

“He had an overwhelming smell of alcohol coming from his mouth when he spoke to me,” Pembroke police officer David Clauss testified. “He said, ‘I made a mistake, please help me. I’m not a bad guy. I’m just drunk. Please believe me.'"

Goodsell, an employee of Rockland-based Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc., allegedly told police he was coming from a Christmas party at his boss’s home when the crash occurred. Another Hi-Way Systems employee was found dead at a hotel in Rockland the same morning after allegedly attending the same party.

Witnesses in court said Goodsell also claimed to be a Pembroke firefighter. According to the Pembroke Fire Department, he was part of a “call firefighter” certification program in 2007. However, they say he was removed by the previous chief for matters unbecoming. We’re told he was let go in 2009 and didn’t pick up many shifts or respond to many calls in the two years he served.

Another Pembroke police officer who responded to the scene, Brian Cain, described Goodsell as, “Belligerent, rude, disrespectful to the nurses, especially the female nurses at the hospital.”

Goodsell’s defense attorney, Joshua Wood, argued he should be put on a GPS monitoring bracelet and released on home incarceration, describing his actions as reckless rather than malicious.

Judge James Sullivan sided with prosecutors, citing Goodsell’s probation history, which they said included 35 previous driving infractions.