An absolutely heartbreaking story out of New Hampshire, where seven Marines from the Jarheads MC were killed by a pickup truck Friday night.
New Hampshire State Police said a 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup truck crashed into the riders on U.S. 2 in Randolph. When emergency crews arrived, the pickup truck was on fire and onlookers had rushed in to try and help the drivers who were thrown all over the road.
Witnesses described it as an absolutely “devastating” scene.
In addition to the seven dead, two additional people were rushed to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital and another was lifted to Main Medical.
Police aren’t releasing the names of the dead until families have been notified.
“It’s tragic,” New Hampshire State Police Capt. Chris Vetter told reporters during a late news conference. “It’s tragic for those involved, tragic for the families, so we’re doing our job, we’re doing our work, and our thoughts are with the people who were adversely affected by this.”
Large parts of the rural two-lane highway were closed overnight as investigators comb the scene for clues about what caused the crash.
* 7 dead in Randolph crash; witness describes aftermath | Public Safety | https://t.co/jyK05TtzCy The Union Leader * 7 killed in crash between truck, bikers in New Hampshire NBC News * Seven motorcyclists are dead after colliding with a pickup truck in… https://t.co/FrtyGkvxVD
— Detroit Michigan (@DetroitMichiga) June 22, 2019
The town of Randolph is about a two-hour drive north of Concord, the capital, and a three-hour drive from Boston.
“There was debris everywhere,” said Miranda Thompson, 21, of Manchester, who was several cars back and recalled seeing a truck in flames on the side of the highway and six motorcycles.
Other drivers pulled over and tried to help the wounded.
“People were in the grass. There were people putting tourniquets on people, trying to make sure they didn’t move,” she said. “You could tell people were lost who it happened too … It was a sad day for all of them.”
Jerry Hamanne is the co-owner of a nearby bed-and-breakfast that was hosting one of the bikers in the group. Hamanne said he and a doctor also staying at his inn rushed to the scene to help.
He said many others tried to help as well, but some people were already dead.
“It was so devastating to see the bodies on the road,” Hamanne said. “My God, I don’t want to see something like this again.”
The accident happened only 500 feed from one of the locations where most of the motorcyclists were staying, Hamanne said.
— WMUR TV (@WMUR9) June 22, 2019
Charlie St. Clair is the executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, which hosts one of the state’s biggest rallies in June.
St. Clair said he couldn’t recall an accident like this ever before involving bikers in the state.
He said he wasn’t on the scene, but spent the night fielding calls.
That’s when he heard the riders were mostly Marine veterans who belonged to the same motorcycle club.
“This is staggering and it’s tragic beyond description,” St. Clair said. “You have a bunch of people out for a ride enjoying one of the first nice days we had. To have this happen, it defies logic quite frankly.”
Miranda Thompson was only a few cars behind the accident and told local she saw “motorcycles dumped all over the road.”
“You could see people on the phone frantically calling, people pacing back and forth and just, they were lost,” she said. ”Everybody got out of their car and helped, got blankets and first-aid kits. Everyone went into action and just helped.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu took to Twitter with his condolences.
Valerie & I are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic motor accident that occurred in Randolph tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, & first responders who answered the call. State officials are on the scene & assisting as the situation develops.
— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) June 22, 2019
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and first responders who answered the call. State officials are on the scene and assisting as the situation develops,” he wrote on Twitter.
He said he and his wife are praying.
“Valerie & I are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic motor accident that occurred in Randolph tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, & first responders who answered the call. State officials are on the scene & assisting as the situation develops.”