RANDOLPH — Seven people were killed and three others injured in a fiery crash on Route 2 involving several motorcycles and a pickup truck early Friday evening.
State police Capt. Chris Vetter confirmed the deaths late Friday and authorities are still investigating the crash on U.S. Route 2 near Lowe’s Garage.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a crash with as much loss of life. It’s a pretty significant accident, obviously,” Vetter said.
The deadly crash was reported at approximately 6:29 p.m. According to state police, a 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup truck was traveling west on Route 2 when it collided with several motorcycles heading east.
“Initial reports were that it involved a pickup truck and several motorcycles. Upon arrival we found that there were a large number of motorcycles that were involved in the accident as was the pickup truck. We were able to confirm that we have seven fatalities at this point,” Vetter said.
Two others were also injured and transported to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital. Another was airlifted to Maine Medical Center.
At 11 p.m., Vetter said a section of Route 2 around the accident scene would remain closed for several hours.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Vetter said State Police were working with local police and the Coos County Attorney’s Office.
“There’s quite a bit of work left to be done. 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,” Vetter said.
Miranda Thompson is vacationing in the area with her family and came upon the crash moments after it happened.
“All of a sudden we saw flames up the road a little bit and we saw debris,” said Miranda Thompson of Manchester of the fatal Randolph crash.
As she got closer, the Manchester woman realized the seriousness of the crash. She said there were five to six motorcycles involved and it appeared that the pickup truck had struck a tree and was engulfed in flames.
“We wanted to see if everybody was OK. There was debris everywhere. I saw helmets on the ground. I saw a body on the ground. I saw people helping people, holding them down do they could put a tourniquet on them or holding them down so they couldn’t move,” she said.
Thompson said she saw others with less serious injuries sitting on the ground on their phones.
“It made you realize how fast your life can change in a second. It made me realize life is too short,” she said.
Gov. Chris Sununu said the state was offering resources to assist including the Attorney General’s office, Department of Transportation and state police.
“State officials are on the scene assisting and providing support as the situation develops,” Sununu said.
Meanwhile, the Great North Woods community had been preparing for motorcycle blessing in Colebrook this weekend.
Route 2 is an essential route for residents and tourists to get east and west just north of the notches.
Source: Union Leader