PORT CLYDE, Maine – On a large red painting of a heart set just inside the entrance of Saturday’s Rock the Dock gathering, Melony Cushman wrote to Dylan Gold’s family, “My heart is with you and your family. For Dylan.”
Mainers from as far as Presque Isle and Scarborough gathered Saturday for Rock the Dock on the Monhegan Boat Line wharf Saturday afternoon to remember the 9-year-old boy killed this summer in a car crash on the dock, and to raise funds for first responders who worked that day to save his family.
The event also helped “reweave the fabric” of the Port Clyde community, many of whom ran to the dock on Aug. 11 and saw the accident firsthand.
Guests dined on 2,000 pounds of lobsters donated by local fishermen, oysters and homemade desserts and some danced to live music by Country Choir and Maine Rocket.
Andy Barstow and his wife, Amy, who organized the event with other Port Clyde residents and fishermen, was working nearby when the crash occurred, and “came running to [the] unbelievable scene … I couldn’t get it out of my head at all for at least a couple of weeks.”
Tom Judge, executive director of LifeFlight of Maine, and a member of the St. George rescue, was the second paramedic on the scene on Aug. 11. He said planning for Saturday’s benefit helped bring together a community devastated by the accident.
“A lot of these people were on the dock” at the time of the crash, Judge said of those gathered Saturday. “They were here, their kids were here. If the car had gone a few feet in a different direction, it could have been them. Everyone needs to put their arms around each other and celebrate Dylan.”
On Aug. 11, a vehicle driven by Cheryl Lynn Torgerson accelerated at the wharf, struck one car and then pedestrian Jonathan Coggeshall. Torgerson’s car continued on, crashing into a building and careening along the wharf, striking six vehicles and hitting Allison Gold and her two sons. Dylan died and 6-year-old Wyatt was released a few days later from Maine Medical Center in Portland. Allison Gold was released from Maine Medical Center and moved to a rehabilitation center in Massachusetts. Coggeshall, 68, of Port Clyde, was released from Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport within a week of the crash.
The Gold family, of Cohasset, Mass., did not attend Saturday’s benefit. Judge, who has stayed in touch with the family, said Allison Gold continues to recuperate from her injuries and was not yet able to travel to Port Clyde. The family asked that the proceeds from Rock the Dock benefit LifeFlight of Maine and the St. George Volunteer Firefighters & Ambulance Association, according to Andy Barstow.
The Golds traveled to Monhegan Island for years on the ferry out of Port Clyde, according to Judge. Allison Gold told him that Dylan Gold had been taken by LifeFlight of Maine several years ago after falling on rocks on Monhegan.
Rock the Dock events originated a few years ago, after a local fishing boat sank and lives were lost, and to raise funds for the Fishermen’s Memorial, which has since been erected at Marshall Point Light. The last Rock the Dock fundraiser was held in 2010.
“It always seems that the people, when we have problems, in this town, we come together,” Jim Barstow told those gathered Saturday. “It’s a great thing.”
“When you have a tragedy, whether it’s a boat sinking or a terrible accident on a sunny Sunday afternoon, you tear a hole in the fabric of a community,” Judge said. “It’s really important to reweave the tapestry of the community.”