Skip to main content

Driver in crash that killed 3 Carleton College classmates ruled not guilty


A Carleton College student charged after a car crash that killed three classmates was found not guilty Tuesday.

Northfield News reports 21-year-old William Sparks was acquitted in connection with the February 2014 incident, with the judge ruling he was not guilty.

Sparks, who is from Evanston, Illinois, was behind the wheel during the crash, which happened along Highway 3 just a few miles from Carleton. The road was described as snow-packed and slippery at the time.

Authorities said he lost control of the vehicle, and crossed into oncoming traffic. The SUV was then hit by a semi.

James Adams, 20, of St. Paul; Paxton Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater; and Michael Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Connecticut, (pictured above) were killed in the crash. They were all members of the school’s ultimate frisbee team.

Sparks and another passenger, Connor Eckert, were injured.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office charged Sparks earlier this year with two misdemeanors related to careless driving.

According to the criminal complaint, the State Patrol had said Sparks' speed was a factor – but according to the Star Tribune, a separate reconstruction by St. Paul Police found that wasn't the case.

The Pioneer Press says alcohol, drugs and texting were all ruled out.

Sparks faced up to 90 days in jail and a fine.

Next Up


MN women's soccer team narrows name, logo options to final 3

The winning nickname and logo will be announced in January.

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.


Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.


1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.


St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.