Man who allegedly injured 9 motorcyclists ‘shouldn’t have driven’


Children in the car warned Ryan O’Farrell that he was driving erratically before the crash, officials say.

The driver who allegedly injured nine people after ramming their motorcycles in Northfield on Sunday will be held without bail, officials said Tuesday.

O’Farrell appeared in Greenfield District Court on Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to the following charges: nine counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, seven counts of operating under the influence of drugs causing grievous bodily harm, exploitation under the influence of drugs, two counts of child endangerment, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operation of a motor vehicle without a license and driving a an unregistered motor vehicle.

A judge ruled that Ryan O’Farrell, 32, of Westerly, Rhode Island, posed a danger to others, according to Assistant Northwest District Attorney Jeremy Bucci. In a statement, he said O’Farrell was driving without a license at the time of the accident.

The crash happened around 1 p.m. Sunday near 272 Main Street in Northfield, officials said.

Police said O’Farrell was driving an SUV towing a trailer carrying a motorcycle. Two children, ages 11 and 12, were in the car with him when O’Farrell crossed a solid yellow line heading south, the statement said.

Police said his vehicle hit five motorcycles traveling in the opposite direction. The motorcyclists belonged to a Connecticut motorcycle club, officials said in a statement.

According to the police, nine people were injured while riding a motorbike or being passengers on a motorbike.

Eight were hospitalized with serious injuries and three had to be taken off the scene with Life Flight helicopters, which took them to trauma hospitals, the statement said.

The two children who were in the car with O’Farrell were taken to hospital but did not appear injured, the statement said. Police arrested O’Farrell at the scene.

One of the children in the car with O’Farrell warned him that he was driving erratically just before the accident, according to Bucci. O’Farrell’s license had previously been suspended in Connecticut, officials said.

“He shouldn’t have driven,” Bucci said. “It is the position of the Commonwealth that nothing short of incarcerating him would prevent him from driving.”

O’Farrell is scheduled to hold a pre-trial on June 29.


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