Man who allegedly injured 9 motorcyclists ‘should not have been driving’



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

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

O’Farrell appeared in Greenfield District Court 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 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.

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

The crash occurred around 1 p.m. Sunday near 272 Main St. in Northfield, according to officials.

Police said O’Farrell was driving an SUV pulling a trailer that carried a motorcycle. Two children, ages 11 and 12, were in the car with him when O’Farrell crossed over a solid yellow line while heading south, according to the statement.

Police said his vehicle struck five motorcycles heading in the opposite direction. The motorcyclists were from a Connecticut motorcycle club, officials said in a release. 

Nine people were injured who were either operating a motorcycle or riding as passengers on one, according to police.

Eight were hospitalized with serious injuries, and three had to be taken away from the scene with Life Flight helicopters, which brought them to trauma hospitals, according to the statement.

The two children who were in the car with O’Farrell were taken to the hospital, but appeared uninjured, according to the statement. 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 crash, according to Bucci. O’Farrell’s license had previously been suspended in Connecticut, officials said.

“He should not have been driving,” Bucci said. “It is the Commonwealth’s position that nothing short of incarcerating him would stop him from driving.”

O’Farrell is scheduled for a pretrial conference on June 29.

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