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 who participated Sunday in a charitable ride from Augusta to the Windsor Fairgrounds. Like the other participants, Aaron planned to leave the toys at the fairgrounds so they could be donated to needy children in the next holiday season.

But Aaron didn’t get to the fairgrounds. He met the other motorcyclists at the Augusta Civic Center and joined the United Bikers of Maine Toy Run. After getting on Interstate 95 northbound around noon, he was one of two riders 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.

Maine State Police are investigating what caused 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.”

FOUR OTHER PEOPLE WERE INJURED

The section of northbound I-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 held for more than 30 years, was supposed to continue onto eastbound Route 3, then southbound Route 32 to the Windsor Fairgrounds.

The pickup truck involved in the crash was in the 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 nearby MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Both Nusoms were sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

Two motorcycle operators, Trevor Proctor, 50, and Tori McGraw, 46, were taken to the hospital with abrasions from sliding on the road, according to a police news release Sunday. Their hometowns were not available, McCausland said.

After the crash, traffic was backed up on I-95 for several hours, and the charity riders were rerouted 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.

SON WAS ‘A VERY GOOD SPORTSMAN’

Aaron White-Sevigny had recently moved back to his hometown of Windsor after living in Augusta for some time, hisfather, Roy Sevigny, and mother said Monday. He had moved into a home that used to belong to his parents with his fiancée, Heather Sutter, and 1½-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 Sevigny, 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.”

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

Sunday’s crash 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 slain 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 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.

SADNESS IN THE BIKER COMMUNITY

Rick Foss, a spokesman for United Bikers of Maine, expressed his condolences to all who were affected by the motorcycle accident Sunday, in particular the relatives of 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.”

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

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

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