New Hampshire

‘Like a Battlefield': Doctor Describes Scene of NH Crash That Killed 7 Motorcyclists

As communities across New England honor the seven victims of that motorcycle crash in Randolph, New Hampshire, the first doctor on scene is sharing her experience.

Dr. Beatrice Engstrand works at Androscoggin Valley Hospital and lives just minutes away.

"It is a horrible experience to live through, but I have no regrets. I'm so glad I could be there," she said during an interview Tuesday.

In more than 30 years practicing neurology, Engstrand says she's never seen so much horror in one place.

"I mean, there was blood everywhere," she recalled. "It was like a battlefield."

It was the evening of June 21, and some Marine veterans on motorcycles were headed to a charity event. A pickup truck towing a flatbed trailer crossed the center line on Route 2 in Randolph and struck the 10 motorcycles.

"There were flames everywhere, people in the woods, yelling, 'Help, help, help me,'" she said.

As the first doctor on scene, she organized witnesses and treated the most critical victims.

"We had to run to the car and get towels and stuff to try and control bleeding and one lady took her belt off to try and help out," she said. "Everybody did what they could."

Engstrand didn't know it then, but seven people would succumb to their injuries – making it the deadliest crash in the state's history.

"I honestly thought they had a chance," she said. "That made me very sad, you try to help somebody, and they don't make it and you feel awful."

Like anyone at the scene, Engstrand will always wish she could have done more. However, she's finding comfort in being in the right place at the right time when seven complete strangers needed her most.

"It was rewarding to try and help and try to bring comfort to people," she said. "Makes you feel good."

The roadside memorial at the scene grows every single day, and now you'll also find bunches of seven American flags all along Route 2 all the way into Gorham.

Engstrand says the front-yard memorials are a beautiful reminder of the humanity she saw that night in the North Country.

"There was an emotional connection that went beyond words," she said.

Engstrand is a native New Yorker and planning to make the North Country her permanent home, along with her two teenage sons and her 90-year-old mother.

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