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By Brian Park

A Dana Point man who was facing manslaughter charges stemming from a fiery car crash that killed his passenger at Marco Forster Middle School nearly two years ago died on Saturday.

Alexander Goodrich was found unresponsive in his Newport Beach apartment and was taken to Hoag Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Goodrich’s family believes he may have committed suicide, according to Goodrich’s attorney, Calvin Chris Schneider III.

“We haven’t gotten any other information other than they found him dead and it might have been a suicide,” Schneider said. “We suspect that he might have overdosed.”

An investigation into his death may take up to six to eight weeks while a toxicology report is completed, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Gail Krause.

In August 2011, Alexander Goodrich was behind the wheel of a Jeep that careened down an embankment and crashed into a shed at the San Juan Capistrano school. After the vehicle burst into flames, Goodrich was able to escape but was unable to save his friend, Bryan Ferguson, a Dana Point resident.

Schneider said Goodrich was devastated by his friend’s death and had fallen into a depression.

“He’s been very depressed and had a lot of anxiety about the situation,” Schneider said. “He’s been devastated.”

The Orange County District Attorney’s office charged Goodrich with vehicular manslaughter, saying that he was intoxicated and driving at a high rate of speed. However, Schneider contends his client’s vehicle’s throttle had been stuck open and that a computer glitch caused it to over speed.

Goodrich was due in court August 9. Schneider said the family would like to move forward with the case to clear Goodrich’s name.

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