Moose Riders speak out after another motorcycle accident injures 8 in Northfield

A Rhode Island man is behind bars after veering into the other lane crashing into five motorcyclists traveling through Northfield from Connecticut.
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A Rhode Island man is behind bars after veering into the other lane crashing into five motorcyclists traveling through Northfield from Connecticut.

Eight people sustained serious injuries with two in critical condition.

Western Mass News spoke with members of the Moose Lodge in Thompsonville, Connecticut and Chicopee to hear their perspective about the Northfield crash. They told us the action they want to see done following these two accidents.

“Not enough people have respect for other people’s lives and safety,” said James Haraghey, treasurer of the Thompsonville Moose Riders. “I mean, it’s ridiculous. It happens way too often. Laconia years ago, now it’s back-to-back here. I mean, this is only a month apart.”

On April 24th, five motorcycle riders from the Chicopee and Thompsonville, Connecticut Moose Lodges were out for a weekend ride. That was when Woodstock, Connecticut investigators said a car crossed the double yellow line, swerved into the other lane, and struck the group of riders.

Members of those motorcycle clubs are now reacting to an accident in Northfield that happened on Sunday where the operator of an SUV crashed into several motorcyclists, leaving eight people severely injured.

“In Northfield, they said it was someone operating under the influence,” Bruce Cadieux of the Thompsonville Moose Riders. “In our case, it was just someone speeding.”

According to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, the driver has been identified as 32-year-old Ryan O’Farrell of Westerly, Rhode Island. He was arrested on scene and faces numerous charges including 7 counts of operating under the influence of drugs causing serious bodily injury, and 2 counts of child endangerment.

Members of the Moose Lodge in Thompsonville and Chicopee are calling on drivers to pay more attention as riders take the roads for the summer months.

“Please just be careful, pay attention,” Cadieux said. “I know you see the signs everywhere to look for motorcycles. You really do.”

Chicopee Moose Rider member Kenneth Fish shared an update on one of his friends that was seriously hurt in the Connecticut crash.

“He’s got a long road, but he’s doing okay,” Fish told us. “They are all doing well, and unfortunately, these guys are going to be up against the same wall and I wish nothing but the best for them, and they are in our thoughts.”

The crash in Northfield happened just hours before a fundraising event was held in Thompsonville for the two riders who sustained severe injuries from the car that hit them in April.

“Ninety-nine percent of things we do are for charities, cancer, Paul Newman’s Hole In The Wall Gang For Kids,” Cadieux said, “and seems like this year, we will be focused on fundraisers to help injured riders, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

“How are we supposed to do things for charity if we’re having to do things for our own people?” Haraghey asked.

We were told that O’Farrell was held on $250,000 bail and will be arraigned in Greenfield District Court Tuesday morning.