Groups of bikers get a bad rep. Many people assume when they see several large, tough men riding motorcycles together, nothing but trouble follows. But for the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, nothing could be further from the truth.
This organization recently started a GoFundMe page to deal with their tragic loss, after their ‘pack’ (or a large group of members riding together) was struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Five members and two supporters of this group were killed in New Hampshire while on their way to a group event, with numerous more injured.
What is the Purpose of Jarheads MC?
Don’t think this is a group that just drove around and gave people a hard time. According to their website, Jarheads MC is a group for honorably discharged members of the Marine Corps. The group has chapters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire (Where the deadly accident happened), and Maine.
The group ‘rides to serve’ other retired veterans and members of their own communities. They organize and attend fundraisers and work closely with their community and VA services.
Overall, Jarheads MC isn’t a scary or intimidating organization… it’s a bunch of retired Marines and their spouses all getting together, talking about their time in the military, and helping the people around them.
Seven Lives Tragically Lost
Friday, June 21st a group of 21 members and spouses had just finished eating dinner and were traveling together to attend a fundraiser at an American Legion post. A 2016 Dodge picking towing a flatbed trailer made a hard left into the group for reasons that are still unclear.
The trailer stayed attached as the truck slammed into the pack of motorcycles, whipping around and striking the Jarheads.
Manny Ribeiro was driving alongside the club’s president Albert Mazza Jr when the truck hit them. The group immediately stopped and assessed the damage, but Ribeiro said that it was nothing like he had ever seen before. The combat he had faced as a marine wasn’t as bad as this accident.
Ribeiro is currently serving as the new Jarheads president after Mazza’s passing.
Five members and two spouses were lost that day, with three more being taken to the hospital. The victims are:
Albert Mazza Jr, 59
Michael Ferazzi, 62
Daniel Pereira, 58
Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, 58
Desma Oakes, 42, who was riding with Aaron Perry, 45
Charges Against The Driver
The driver of the pickup truck, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, has been charged with seven counts of negligent homicide and was arrested Monday in his home, where a substance suspected to be heroin was found.
Zhukovskyy had been stopped on suspicion of drunk driven in 2013 and again last month, but prosecutors have not said if they found anything to suggest he was under the influence.
Zhukovskyy was working for Westfield Transport Inc at the time of the accident but had only just started with the company. This was his second trip with Westfield, who expressed displeasure at the accident and discovery of drugs in Zhukovskyy’s home.
The Fundraiser For Those Left Behind
Jarheads MC has started a GoFundMe to directly help those that were left behind after the accident with medical bills, final expenses, and more.
The GoFundMe, which was created on the 22nd of June, has already raised almost $500,000. The community has rallied behind the group that took has given them so much.
Their target goal for donations is $700,000.