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Police urge patience as bikers honor New Hampshire crash victims

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 4, 2019 at 2:41 PM EDT
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Hundreds of bikers are expected in New Hampshire's North Country this weekend to honor seven motorcyclists killed in a crash last month. And that's bringing up new safety concerns on the roads.

What started as a small gathering to honor the seven victims of the deadly crash in Randolph has grabbed the interest of thousands of motorcyclists from across the country.

"This is turning into a very, very large event," motorcyclist Brian DeSimone said. "More than anybody expected, and we can't stress safety enough."

Organizers are also asking others on the road to be patient.

"It's something special and there's going to be a lot of bikes, you're going to be held up for a little bit. Please be respectful," DeSimone said.

Officials are working to plan a route that will have minimal impact on the public.

"Moving thousands of people at the same time has some significant logistical challenges," N.H. State Police Col. Chris Wagner said.

The emergency operations center in Concord will be open Saturday to help coordinate, while state troopers make sure things run smoothly on the ground.

"There will be control points along the route in which we will be managing traffic flow, traffic volume, whether it be at ramps, whether it be at local road intersections," Wagner said.

The agencies involved have been impacted by the crash since the night it happened. They want to make sure a ride to honor the lives lost happens safely.

"Certainly, one of the worst, tragic investigations we have ever handled here at state police," Wagner said. "So, we understand the impact. We understand the interest and the involvement that people want to have."

The driver of the pickup truck who hit the bikers, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, faces seven counts of negligent homicide.

The victims were from the riding group the JarHeads, made up of Marine veterans and their spouses.