FARMINGTON — Taylor Gaboury’s Facebook page at 11:49 a.m. Dec. 31 shared a link with a photo of an ambulance and a message to drunken drivers: “Happy New Year’s Eve: Remember it takes 23,647 bolts to put a car together, but only one nut to spread them all over the highway. Don’t drink and drive!”

About 12 hours later, Gaboury, 21, of Farmington, was struck and killed by an allegedly drunken driver as she walked home along U.S. Route 2 in Farmington during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

Gaboury’s father said the post was the last one she wrote.

A week after the crash that claimed the life of their daughter, Ricky Gaboury and Tena Trask, of Farmington, are realizing the scope of kindness that she showed to the people who crossed her path throughout her 21 years.

“I knew she was amazing,” Trask said. “Being her parents, we obviously knew and thought she was an amazing person with a great soul, but people are coming forward and telling us these stories that we never knew about.”

The parents, who also have a son, Cody, were silent Thursday afternoon as they affixed flowers and photos to a roadside memorial along the section of U.S. Route 2 where their daughter was killed.

Red spray paint on the nearby guardrail read, “We love you Taylor.” Several passing motorists beeped their horns in support.

When Gaboury was killed in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, she was walking to her parents’ house in Farmington. She was struck around 1:40 a.m. near Franklin Memorial Hospital.

“She was coming home to us in Farmington. She wanted to be where she felt safe, with her mom and dad,” Trask said Thursday.

When police found Gaboury, they couldn’t identify her because she didn’t have a phone or identification. Her parents tentatively identified her the night of Jan. 1, and following an autopsy her identity was confirmed Monday.

Her parents don’t know why she didn’t have her phone or ID, or why she didn’t call anyone to come get her instead of walking.

One thing Ricky Gaboury and Trask want people to take away from their daughter’s death is that it “was a 100 percent preventable” death, Trask said.

“I’m really just hoping that through this people will just start to think before they get behind the wheel or go off walking,” she said. “Call me. I’ll give them my number. I’ll go get anybody.”

According to the latest statistics from the Maine Center for Disease Control, from 2003 to 2012, 491 people in Maine were killed in accidents involving a drunken driver. Nationally, one in three traffic deaths involve a drunken driver.

Tommy Clark, 25, of Industry, was later charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run. Charges include a class B felony count of aggravated criminal operating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury or death, also a class B felony.

Clark told police he was aware he’d hit a person with his car and went down the embankment where the body lay and “tried to wake her up,” but he concluded she was dead and fled the scene, according to police.

Bail was set at $75,000 Monday for Clark.

‘THE KIND OF PERSON I STRIVE TO BE’

Whether through her years in the Mt. Blue school district, ending in 2012 with her graduation from Mt. Blue High School, or working for Barclay’s in Wilton, Gaboury made it a point to accept everyone, her parents said.

Since her death, people have contacted them to tell stories about how Taylor’s kindness affected their lives.

One young man whom Gaboury had met through school sent Trask a Facebook message this week, telling her about moving out of the area while in high school. He was concerned, since he didn’t have many friends, that he wouldn’t be accepted at his new school.

He told Trask that her daughter consoled him, reassuring him that he was going to be accepted for who he was.

Another former classmate of Taylor’s told Ricky Gaboury that when he was left out at school, she would sit with him, letting him know that he did have friends and people who cared about him.

“She just had that ability to have the right words at the right time, whatever the situation was,” Trask said. “She loved with her whole heart. She accepted people — no judgment.”

Whenever there was a chance to give back or convey acts of kindness, Gaboury’s parents said she jumped on board and would go above and beyond the ordinary, especially when it concerned children.

In high school, she was involved in a program in which students read to young children, but instead of just reading to the children, by the time she was through spending time with them, they would know the whole alphabet.

She was the godmother of her boyfriend’s nephew.

“She spoke of him daily — every little thing, every detail about this child,” Ricky Gaboury said. “She just put her all into loving that kid.

“I was looking forward to her as a mother, knowing how much she loved children.”

Taylor Gaboury also donated to the food pantry, donated clothes, collected can tabs for their recycling value to go toward charity and participated in the Franklin County group Buttons for Babes.

“Taylor was the kind of person I always strive to be,” said Jamie Medrano, her cousin. “She didn’t do it to get anything out of it. She didn’t want recognition. There aren’t a lot of people like that anymore.”

ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT

Throughout her time at Mt. Blue High School, Gaboury played field hockey and softball, but Trask said she didn’t limit her interests to what she could participate in through school.

“She liked everything. She was an adventurer,” Trask said. “She loved it all. She loved life.”

Growing up in Farmington, Taylor enjoyed outside activities without limits. Trask said her daughter loved camping, kayaking, four-wheeling and even cliff-jumping.

“She was a little adrenaline junkie, just like her dad,” Ricky Gaboury said.

Coming out of high school, her focus was on discovering who she was and trying to become an adult, her parents said, so future plans for college took a back seat while she learned what she wanted from a life of living on her own.

After high school, she got an apartment in Farmington with her boyfriend, Jacob Malone. Then they moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where Malone had gotten a job.

The couple had moved back to the area recently and were living with his parents in East Wilton.

Recently, Taylor Gaboury was trying to get into an engineering program that specialized in clean energy.

“She was very conscious about the environment and the world as a whole,” Ricky Gaboury said. “That was part of her trying to help out.”

As a nontraditional student trying to get back into the education system, though, she was hitting roadblocks with financing a college degree because she was determined to pay for it herself.

“She was trying to do it all on her own and not use us at all. She didn’t know why everything (she had to do financially) kept referring back to her parents,” Trask said. “She was proud of not asking for help.”

The family has established a scholarship in her name to help nontraditional students or anyone who wants to get an education have the financial means to do so.

In lieu of flowers for Taylor Gaboury’s memorial service, the family is asking that donations to the Taylor Gaboury Scholarship Fund be made by contacting Skowhegan Savings bank.

‘I CRY EVERY MORNING’

Gaboury’s memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Farmington Baptist Church on Whittier Road.

The day after Gaboury died, Medrano established a GoFundMe page to help with funerals costs. Within 24 hours, the page had raised $14,000 from 287 donations, surpassing its initial goal by $1,000.

“To me that is truly amazing and speaks to the person that she was. So many people loved her and cared about her so much,” Medrano said. “She has left a hole in all of our hearts that will never be filled.”

Busied with making funeral arrangements, Ricky Gaboury said he doesn’t feel he’s gotten the chance to grieve over the loss of his daughter.

“It’s unbelievable how much you have to deal with shortly after someone’s death,” he said. “But I cry every morning … and every night when I go to bed.”

“The grief comes in waves,” Trask said. “I still can’t believe she’s gone.”

Trask saw Malone on Wednesday night and said he’s having an especially hard time with the loss of his girlfriend of five years.

“He basically sleeps,” Trask said. “He sleeps because that’s the only time he sees her, and he gets aggravated when people try to wake him up.”

Like the rest of their family, Trask said, “he’s broken.”

Medrano, her cousin, said Gaboury didn’t deserve to die the way she did, and so soon, “but if anyone deserved a spot in heaven, it was her.”

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.