June 22 (UPI) — Seven people died and three others were injured in a crash involving several motorcycles driven by former U.S. Marines and a pickup truck in rural northern New Hampshire, police said Friday night.
A 2016 Dodge 2500 traveling west on Route 2 when it collided with the eastbound motorcycles along the two-lane road in Randolph, according to police.
When authorities arrived on the scene around 6:30 p.m., the truck was on fire.
“You could see motorcycles dumped all over the road, and you could see people on the phone frantically calling, people pacing back and forth, and just, they were lost,” witness Miranda Thompson, of Manchester, told WMUR-TV “Everybody got out of their car and helped, got blankets and first-aid kits. Everyone went into action and just helped.”
Travis Hood, who told WMUR he was the first person at the scene, stayed with a motorcyclist until an ambulance arrived.
“I held his hand, and I tried to get him to, I’m like, ‘Squeeze my hand. Stay with me. You’re a strong guy. You’ve got this.’ Toward the end, when the ambulance got there, I could feel him losing strength,” Hood said.
The Route 2 and Route 115 was reopened after 6 a.m. Saturday.
One injured person was taken by medical helicopter to Maine Medical Center and two others were transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital, police said.
The riders, who were members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club of active and veteran U.S. Marines, were on their way to a bike gathering in northern New Hampshire, Charlie St. Clair told NPR. He is executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, a large motorcycle gathering that ended last weekend.
The identifies of those involved in the crash have not been released.
“It’s tragic. 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,” New Hampshire State Police Capt. Chris Vetter said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a crash with this much loss of life, so it’s a pretty significant accident.”
State Police were working with local police and the Coos County Attorney’s Office in investigating the crash.
“There’s quite a bit of work left to be done,” Vetter told the New Hampshire Union Leader late Friday night. “Obviously at this point in time our concern is with the victims, the victims’ families and anybody else who was adversely affected by this accident.”