PEMBROKE, N.H. (WHDH/AP) — A United States Marine Corps veteran who survived Friday’s fiery crash with a pickup truck that killed seven motorcyclists on a highway in Randolph, New Hampshire, says the devastation, destruction, and horror he saw was much worse than anything he ever encountered on the battlefield.
Manny Ribeiro, president of Marine JarHeads, a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses, said the group had just finished dinner and was heading to a fundraiser at American Legion post in nearby Gorham when a pickup truck hauling a trailer plowed into 10 motorcycles.
Albert Mazza Jr, of Lee, New Hampshire, was among those killed in the crash.
“It was just an explosion … with parts and Al [Mazza Jr.] and everything flying through the air,” he said. “He turned hard left into us and took out pretty much everyone behind me. The truck and trailer stayed attached and that is why it was so devastating … because the trailer was attached and it was such a big trailer, it was like a whip. It just cleaned us out.”
After the crash, Ribeiro recalled seeing the pickup driver, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, “screaming and running around” in the middle of the road before he was taken away by authorities.
Motorcycles and bodies were everywhere, according to Ribeiro, and several people were yelling at Zhukovskyy, demanding to know what he had just done.
“It was absolute hell,” he said, adding that he had put a tourniquet on the leg of one rider who remains hospitalized in Maine.
Ribeiro and his wife, Valerie, said they saw things no one should ever have to witness.
“I saw Al. I knew he was gone right away,” he continued. “At that point, we just tried to figure out who needed help and got to work. There was debris everywhere and the truck was on fire. I was just looking for survivors, familiar faces and trying to find out who I had lost and … trying to help the living.”
Zhukovskyy was arrested Monday at his home in West Springfield. He is facing seven counts of negligent homicide. Records show he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving last month and in 2013.
Authorities identified the dead as Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire; Mazza, 59, of Lee, New Hampshire; Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, New Hampshire; Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire; Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island; and Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, Massachusetts.
Funerals have been planned for all of the victims. A Gofundme page has also been established to support family members of the victims.
(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)