‘Everyone loved her’: 13-year-old victim of fatal alleged drunken driving crash identified

The victim has been described as "kind and happy."

Claire Zisserman Courtesy of Jake Mcpherson via GoFundMe

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The 13-year-old girl who died when the vehicle she was in was allegedly struck by a drunken driver Sunday morning in Pembroke has been identified as Claire Zisserson.

Zisserson, along with another 13-year-old girl and a 50-year-old woman, were all rushed to South Shore hospital after a Ford pickup truck, driven by Gregory Goodsell, who was allegedly drunk, struck the Subaru they were in.

Zisserson and the other teen were then brought to Boston Children’s Hospital; Zisserson died around 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.

A GoFundMe online fundraising campaign has been established for her family. As of around noon on Tuesday, it had raised nearly $56,000 of a $100,000 goal in one day.


“Claire was a bright, kind 13-year-old girl full of life with a bright future,” wrote organizer Jake Mcpherson on the campaign website. “Everyone loved her and she will be missed by so many.”

Via email, Mcpherson told Boston.com that he, other friends of Claire, and some of her family members went to Rising Tide Charter Public School, where Zisserson attended, as a way of dealing with their grief.

Mcpherson described Claire as “kind and happy.”

“Everybody is dealing with it differently, because she was so loved by the community,” he said.

Others shared memories of Zisserson on the site.


“Claire was in my second grade class,” wrote Marcia Close. “She was a vibrant learner, and the sweetest classmate. She always entered the classroom with a smile.”

Meanwhile, 31-year-old Goodsell is being held without bail as he awaits a dangerousness hearing set for Jan. 3. He faces a variety of serious charges, including operating under the influence of liquor — manslaughter.

“I know I shouldn’t have been driving, I can’t believe I did this,” he allegedly said at the scene, according to NBC10.

Goodsell had reportedly been at a holiday party thrown by Hi-Way Safety, the company he worked for, the night before the crash.


The state Department of Transportation has contracted with the company before.

“We are saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim,” MassDOT said in a comment emailed to Boston.com. “MassDOT is extremely disappointed to learn of the circumstances surrounding this incident. We require that all of our contractors adhere to strict standards of safety and we are conducting a review into the status of Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc. with regard to active MassDOT contracts.”

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