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Cassidy Charette's parents support charges in fatal hayride accident
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 9:25 am
AUBURN — The parents of a teenage girl killed in October during a haunted hayride at Harvest Hill Farms in Mechanic Falls said Wednesday that they support the Androscoggin County grand jury's indictments, handed up Wednesday, of the driver, mechanic and company that operates the farm.
Monica and Randy Charette of Oakland, parents of 17-year-old Cassidy, released a written statement following the indictments, saying, "There are many possible outcomes to this tragic case for everyone involved, and we are prepared to accept all of them. We understand there are many people who are angry and want some sort of 'justice to be served.'”
If prosecutors determined that a specific person should be held criminally responsible, then, "appropriate charges should be pursued. People should be held accountable for the decisions they make that affect the health and safety of others," the Charettes wrote.
Despite the actions taken by prosecutors and the grand jury, Charette's family knows that their loss remains the same, they wrote.
"Living in a life we no longer recognize without our beautiful, loving, inspiring, amazing Cass. We are left with lifelong yearning and grief. The excruciatingly disappointing truth is that nothing can ever change that, because nothing can bring her back."
The family's attorney, Jodi Nofsinger of Berman & Simmons in Lewiston, said Wednesday the Charette family understands that the case involving Harvest Hill Farms is a tragedy for many people, including all who were injured that night.
The Charettes' hope, through bringing a civil claim, is "that if their case can influence or change even one person's behavior so that no other family goes through this, then they think that's a worthwhile effort," Nofsinger said.
She said she expects a wrongful death civil complaint to be filed sometime this year.
"This is not a process that we wanted to rush," Nofsinger said. "This had been a really overwhelming loss for this family."
She said Cassidy Charette "was a truly amazing young woman. I hear a lot of stories and I have a lot of clients I never got to meet because they died. But this person was truly remarkable. She was a really compassionate and involved member of her community."
Whatever comes from a civil lawsuit, "they'll be able to use that to further the work that she was committed to doing in their community," Nofsinger said of the Charette family.
Nofsinger said that she and the Charette family endorse efforts at the legislative level to ensure farm rides like haunted hayrides are as safe as possible.