NORTHFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Rhode Island man has pleaded not guilty to more than 20 charges following a crash that injured nine people on motorcycles Sunday afternoon.
According to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, at around 1 p.m. on Sunday 32-year-old Ryan O’Farrell of Westerly, Rhode Island was driving an SUV pulling a trailer carrying a motorcycle south on Route 10 when he crossed over a solid yellow double center lane. His vehicle then struck five motorcycles heading north. The motorcyclists were part of a group of a Connecticut motorcycle club that were riding up from Connecticut.
Nine people were injured and eight suffered serious injuries in the crash. They are currently hospitalized with two in critical condition at UMass Medical Center in Worcester. Two children, ages 11 and 12, were inside the SUV and also taken to the hospital but were uninjured.
During O’Farrell’s arraignment on Tuesday, the District Attorney’s office stated that one of the two children in the car warned him that he was driving erratically before the crash.
“He should not have been driving,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Bucci. “It is the Commonwealth’s position that nothing short of incarcerating him would stop him from driving.”
“There was a bunch of screaming and there was music, somebody’s radio was still playing. So kind of sounded like a party was happening. At first, a lot people just sort of blew it off to somebody fell but then you could hear people crying, it was kind of horrible,” said Harmony Thibodeau.
O’Farrell has pleaded not guilty to the following charges:
- Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (9 counts)
- Operating under the influence of drugs causing serious bodily injury (7 counts)
- Operating under the influence of drugs
- Child endangerment (2 counts)
- Negligent operation of a motor vehicle
- Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle
- Operating an unregistered motor vehicle
O’Farrell is currently being held for a dangerousness hearing. If he is allowed to be released on bail, his bail will be set at $100,000 cash bail or $500,000 surety. He is expected back in court on June 29.