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Norwell Man Arraigned On Charges In Connection With Fatal Crash That Left One Teen Dead, Two Others Injured

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Contact: Beth Stone (508) 584-8120

BROCKTON – A Norwell man was arraigned today on charges that he was behind the wheel and allegedly under the influence of alcohol when he crashed, killing one person and injuring another, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.

Today, James Croke, 18, was arraigned as a Youthful Offender in Plymouth Juvenile Court on one count each of Motor Vehicle Homicide and Manslaughter by Motor Vehicle. He pleaded not a youthful offender to the charges. Judge Mary O’Sullivan-Smith set bail at $2,500, with the conditions that Croke remain drug and alcohol free, not operate a motor vehicle, remain in counseling, and reside with his parents.

At approximately 12:43 a.m. on March 20, 2022, Marshfield Police received a call for a single-car motor vehicle crash into a tree at 172 Forest Avenue. Marshfield Police and Fire responded and located three male occupants trapped inside the motor vehicle. Croke, the operator of the vehicle and 16 years-old at the time, was removed from the wreck and taken to South Shore Hospital before he was re-routed to Children’s Hospital in Boston for treatment. One passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified as Nicholas Wanderley, 17, of Norwell. A second 16 year-old male passenger was transported to South Shore Hospital with serious injuries as a result of the crash.

Marshfield Police contacted Massachusetts State Troopers assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and an investigation commenced. As a result of the investigation, detectives determined that the motor vehicle being operated by Croke, was traveling south on Forest Street when it crossed the double yellow line and struck a tree. Blood Alcohol Testing and other evidence revealed that Croke was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Croke was indicted by a Plymouth County grand jury on the charges on March 24. He is next scheduled to appear in court on July 10.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Higgins and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police troopers assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, Marshfield Police, Norwell Police, and members of the MSP CSS and MSP-CARS Units.

May 1, 2023