September 20, 2018

Friends and family mourn beloved Williston teen

Observer photo by Jess Wisloski Pallbearers carry the casket out to the hearse at Essex Alliance Church on April 30.

Observer photo by Jess Wisloski
Pallbearers carry the casket out to the hearse at Essex Alliance Church on April 30.

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

The friends and family of Craig Sampson gathered last weekend in a sorrowful ceremony laying the beloved teenager to rest, while still sharing the brightest moments of the spirited man’s life and recalling the joy he brought to every person he met.

Hundreds of mourners filled the main sanctuary at Essex Alliance Church on Saturday, April 30, exactly one week after Sampson succumbed to his injuries from a Massachusetts crash. Sampson, who was 19, was riding in the passenger seat of a BMW driven by his friend, Joseph Castano, that struck a utility pole and trapped both men inside. Both were Williston residents in their second year of college.

The tone was somber inside the church, but a slideshow of images of a happy teenage Craig played on screens on both sides of the altar while music emitted from speakers nearby. Christmas portraits taken posing with his siblings year after year flipped past; Sampson at a farm with a goofy grin and a berry container perched on his head; donned in a silky gown with his mother; perched near a ride at the Great Escape; Sampson in a field, face to the sun, arms outstretched and reaching for the sky. [Read more…]

Williston driver pleads not guilty to criminal charges in Craig Sampson’s death

by Jess Wisloski
Observer staff

Williston resident Joseph Castano, 20, entered a plea of not guilty to a number of criminal charges during his arraignment in a Massachusetts courthouse Tuesday that were related to a deadly car crash over the weekend in which he was the driver.

Craig Sampson, 19, also of Williston, died in the Saturday morning crash in Beverly, Mass., and Castano was hospitalized with injuries. Both men were college sophomores, and had grown up together in town. Those who knew them said they were best friends.

Castano posted $25,000 bail at Salem District Court and was permitted to return to Vermont. He is set to return to court June 7.

Joseph Castano's yearbook photo. (Facebook)

Joseph Castano’s yearbook photo. (Facebook)

[Read more…]