OAKLAND, Maine (WABI) It’s been almost 3 years since the death of Cassidy Charette. The 17-year old Oakland native died after a hayride crashed on Harvest Hill Farm in Mechanic Falls. Recently, a settlement was reached in a wrongful death lawsuit against the farm, and three other individuals.
“When a tragedy like this happens, there's many ways that people can respond,” said the Charette’s attorney, Jodi Nofsinger. “In this case, with this family, their sole purpose moving forward after what happened two and a half years ago, was to make sure that they carry forward their daughter's legacy.”
Cassidy’s brother Colby said “I'd like to say that this is some form of closure, but in reality, we still don't have Cassidy with us and that is always something that's going to be difficult to deal with and I don't know if we'll ever have complete closure on that.”
Since her death in 2014, Cassidy’s family has rallied with the community to create the Shine on Cass Foundation, which hands out scholarships to Messalonskee High School students who embody Cassidy’s spirit.
“The Shine on Cass Foundation has brought so much... just that kind of movement of kindness,” said Scholarship Chair Shawna Oliver
“Cassidy's life revolved around service and what she could do, however small it might be,” said Colby. “So this scholarship, really, it doesn't have to be people doing incredibly large gestures. Its people that mirror Cassidy's example of service.”
Nofsinger says that funds from the settlement will go towards the scholarship, opening up new avenues for them to give back in the name of Cassidy.
“We're excited for the possibility of the things that honestly, we probably don't even know of yet, the possibilities what's to come just to shine Cassidy's light farther than we've been able to,” said Oliver.
“In terms of input, the community coming together to fundraise for the foundation and to support our family and shine Cassidy's light has been incredible,” said Colby.
The Charette's are hoping that the results of this settlement will prevent anything like this from ever happening again. Right now they're just focused on moving forward and optimistic about the future.