AUGUSTA — The pair of toys, a Play-Doh set and a Nerf gun, weren’t supposed to be in Jennifer White-Sevigny’s home in Windsor on Monday afternoon.

Her older son, Aaron White-Sevigny, 25, was one of thousands of motorcyclists to participate in a charitable ride from Augusta to the Windsor Fairgrounds on Sunday. Like all the other participants, Aaron planned to leave the toys at the fairgrounds so that they could be donated to needy children this holiday season.

But Aaron didn’t make it to the fairgrounds. He met the other motorcyclists at the Augusta Civic Center and began the United Bikers of Maine Toy Run. After getting on northbound Interstate 95 around noontime, he was one of two riders to be killed in a crash that involved a pickup truck.

“He didn’t make it,” Aaron’s mother said the next day, looking at the items he’d hoped to donate. “Aaron had a really big heart. He was always giving. He would give anybody the shirt off his back. He used to take coffee and bagels to homeless people (in Augusta). Yesterday, he died doing the toy run.”

The other rider who died was Jamie Gross, 58, of Belmont. A town employee in Belmont was not able to provide contact information for Gross’ family, and no information about them was immediately available online.

The Maine State Police are still investigating the causes of the crash, work that included reconstructing the scene and interviewing other motorcyclists and drivers who witnessed it.


“Some motorists have called in, so that’s one component of piecing together how this crash happened,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. “We have not drawn any conclusions. … The key factor we’re trying to determine is how this crash took place, or why this crash took place.”

The section of northbound Interstate 95 where the accident occurred consists of three lanes: a merging lane that stretches from Civic Center Drive to Route 3, a regular travel lane and, farthest to the left, a passing lane.

The “majority of the motorcyclists” were in the merging lane at the time of the crash, McCausland said. The charitable ride, which has been going on for more than 30 years, was supposed to continue onto eastbound Route 3, then southbound Route 32 to the Windsor Fairgrounds.

The pickup truck that was involved in the crash was in the far left passing lane, McCausland said. It was being driven by William Nusom, 67, with his mother, Anna Nusom, 99, as a passenger. Both are from Hollis.

Four other people were injured in the crash and taken to the nearby MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Both Nusoms were sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

And two motorcycle operators, Trevor Proctor, 50, and Tori McGraw, 46, were sent to hospital with road rash, according to a police news release on Sunday. Their hometowns were not available, McCausland said.


After the crash, traffic was backed up on Interstate 95 for several hours, and the charity riders were re-routed to outer Civic Center Drive. Numerous participants in the run were stopped behind the accident scene, until police routed them to the southbound lane to allow them to get off the interstate. A few were also stopped just ahead of the accident site.


The Windsor man who died in the crash, Aaron White-Sevigny, had recently moved back to his hometown after living in Augusta for some time, his parents, Roy Sevigny and Jennifer White-Sevigny, said on Monday. He had moved into a home that used to belong to his parents with his fiancée, Heather Sutter, and 1 1/2-year-old son, Lucas.

He was on disability from a job at Home Depot, but worked as a volunteer firefighter in Somerville and was preparing to become one in Windsor, said Roy, who is also a firefighter in those towns. The father and son regularly went to speedways in Unity and Wiscasset to race the Thunder 4 car they worked on together.

“He was a very good sportsman,” his father said. “He was an outgoing person, and he loved the adrenaline rush of racing a car. … Him and I worked on projects together right here in the driveway. My son and I did everything together.”

“It’s hard to bury your own kid,” he said.


The family is now trying to raise funds for Aaron’s funeral on the website GoFundMe.

Aaron recently won his heat in the demolition derby at the Windsor Fair, and his Facebook page includes a video of him, immediately after the victory, climbing onto the roof of his beat-up, yellow car, pumping his fists in the air and taking a dramatic bow.

“He was a great kid,” his mother said. “He had a whole future ahead of him.”


The crash on Sunday wasn’t the first example of a motorcycle procession ending in tragedy in Maine.

Last November, a Farmingdale man died during a motorcycle ride in Pittston that was meant to honor Antonio Balcer, a fellow rider who had been murdered several weeks earlier in Winthrop. In 2014, the chief of the Augusta Police Department, Robert Gregoire, was seriously injured during a charity motorcycle ride in Jay.


Both McCausland and Jared Mills, deputy chief of the Augusta Police Department, said that the annual toy run has generally been well-coordinated in its 36 years. For a number of years, its organizers, the United Bikers of Maine, have hired city police officers to escort the motorcycles out of Augusta.

Without knowing the final outcome of the State Police’s investigation into the cause of the accident, Mills said he thought it was more likely a result of human error than a safety issue with the route taken by the motorcyclists.

At the same time, Mills said, the department would consider recommending changes to the route if they were determined to make it safer.

Rick Foss, a spokesman for United Bikers of Maine, expressed his condolences to all who were affected by the motorcycle crashes on Sunday, in particular those who are related to Aaron White-Sevigny and Jamie Gross.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those families,” Foss said. “There’s a brotherhood and sisterhood in the biker community, so that if one of us goes down, the rest of us feel it.”

While Foss said he didn’t know what happened in the accident on Sunday, he also said the charity ride has happened for many years without incident and that his group places an emphasis on safe riding.


He also called for all motorcyclists and car drivers to be defensive and careful around each other to help prevent future accidents. For car drivers, that should include constantly looking in all directions for people on two wheels. For motorcyclists, that includes not assuming that the driver of a car waiting to turn at a stoplight will see you, Foss said.

“We all have that responsibility for safe riding and driving,” Foss said.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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