Eight people were seriously injured Sunday when a man who was allegedly driving high veered into a group of motorcycles in western Massachusetts, authorities announced.
Ryan O'Farrell, 32, of Westerly, Rhode Island, was arrested on scene with two kids in his car following the crash in the area of 272 Main Street in Northfield, according to the Northwestern District Attorney's Office. Both children, ages 11 and 12, were taken to the hospital, though they appeared to be uninjured.
Authorities allege that O'Farrell was driving an SUV that was pulling a trailer carrying a motorcycle around 1 p.m. when his SUV crossed over the solid yellow double center line, veering into the oncoming lane on routes 5 and 10. O'Farrell's SUV allegedly struck five motorcycles that were traveling north as part of a group of nine from a Connecticut motorcycle club.
The motorcyclists had been on the road for about two hours when they were struck in the middle of Memorial Day weekend, with New England seeing particularly beautiful weather on Sunday and several motorists and motorcyclists out on the roads.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
All eight victims were taken to local hospitals, including two who are listed in critical condition at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, the district attorney said.
The road was closed in both directions for a period of time following the crash but has since reopened, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said.
O'Farrell is facing numerous charges in connection to the crash, including seven counts of operating under the influence of drugs causing serious bodily injury; operating under the influence of drugs; two counts of child endangerment; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; and operating an unregistered motor vehicle. He was held on $250,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Greenfield District Court on Tuesday morning. It was not immediately clear if O'Farrell had obtained an attorney.
An investigation is ongoing.