LACONIA, N.H. (CBS) — A sea of chrome punctuated by the thunder of roaring engines as thousands of motorcyclists hit the streets of New Hampshire. The Ride For The Fallen 7 came after seven motorcyclists of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club were killed in a crash in Randolph, N.H. last month. Saturday’s event became bigger than anyone imagined.
“We just wanted to get a couple of dozen guys to go up and make a run and show their respect and it just snowballed,” said rider Tom Grizz. “It’s great. We got people coming here…we’ve got some from Arizona, Texas.”
According to the N.H.Department of Safety, Division of Homeland Security, 3,000 motorcyclists participated.
The 90-mile ride from Laconia N.H. to Randolph was heavily escorted by local and New Hampshire State Police. They asked others drivers for their patience as the ride forced a number of road closures.
On June 21, seven bikers were killed when a pickup truck hauling a flatbed trailer crashed into the group. The pickup driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide and remains behind bars.
Killed were Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire; Albert Mazza Jr., 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.
Raymond Schwendeman knew victim Albert “Woody” Mazza very well.
“Today is special to me because I’m a Vietnam vet and also a Marine, and Woody was also a Marine and Vietnam vet, so we had kind of close ties, and he’s gonna be sorely missed,” he said.
And people lined the streets as a show of support for the riders.
“The support from everybody from the community, from state officials from the police … it’s just been overwhelming. They’ve just helped us every step of the way. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said organizer Brian DeSimone.