BELFAST, Maine — The boy who died Monday afternoon in Belfast was fatally injured while helping to load a vehicle onto a tow truck.
Bryan Totman, 9, of Searsmont received emergency aid at the scene and was rushed to Waldo County General Hospital for treatment, but he could not be resuscitated. No criminal charges are expected in connection with his death, according to Belfast Police Chief Gerry Lincoln.
Bryan’s family owns Totman Enterprises Inc., a towing company based in Belmont, and they are known for their kindness and generosity, Lori Mayer of Liberty said.
“The whole crew, all the Totman guys, they have a tough look about them but they have the biggest hearts,” she said. “It’s just a tragedy that happened. It’s no one’s fault.”
The Waldo County community has reacted to Bryan’s death with shock and sorrow. People scrambled to organize fundraising and other events to help his family with funeral expenses and show them love and support.
Mayer, who is helping to put on a potluck benefit dinner for the Totman family from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Liberty Community Hall, said that she just wanted to do something to help.
“You can’t make the pain go away, but you can show people you care,” she said.
Mayer said that Bryan was athletic, smart and kind.
“He loved to give people hugs,” she said. “He just loved life. He always had a grin on his face.”
Tammy Reynolds, another organizer of the potluck, said she figures the dinner will be standing room only.
“It’s a particularly hard situation that they’re in, and there’s nothing we can do to make it better, but this is a way to show that the community cares,” she said. “It’s a huge loss for the entire community.”
In addition to the potluck, there are other fundraising events, including an online GoFundMe that by Thursday afternoon had raised $13,645 to help with funeral costs.
This week, Liberty Fire Chief Bill Gillespie asked all the fire departments in Waldo County and surrounding areas to shine the lights of their emergency vehicles in support of the Totman family.
“The Totman family is going through a tremendous tragedy,” he said in a video that was widely shared on Facebook. “Let’s all be Totman strong,”