Local Marines help ‘a fellow brother’ hurt in NH motorcycle crash

  • Retired Marine Rocky Snow, left, and Marine Corps League Oakridge Department Commandant P.J. Herbert salute before Herbert gifted Snow with the money raised for his son, Joshua Morin. Morin was one of the survivors of a fiery crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire on June 21. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/7/2019 3:00:19 AM

BERNARDSTON — In the wake of a fiery crash that resulted in the deaths of seven motorcyclists and injured three others in New Hampshire on June 21, the local Marine Corps League Oakridge Department raised more than $1,000 to benefit a survivor.

During the league’s meeting at the Bernardston Vets Club on Monday, the local department presented Rocky Snow, father of survivor Joshua Morin, with the money raised from its latest Marine Corps League breakfast, held every third Sunday of the month.

Morin, 45, is a former Marine and registered emergency room nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

P.J. Herbert, commandant of the Marine Corps League Oakridge Department, said that he has a traumatic brain injury and Morin had been his nurse at Baystate Franklin multiple times.

“It helped being a fellow brother that understood what I went through,” Herbert said. “It was beyond the normal camaraderie and understanding that the general public has.”

Morin was riding with members of the Jarheads Marine Corps Motorcycle Club when a truck driven by Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, is alleged to have crossed a double yellow center line on Route 2 in Randolph, N.H., striking the motorcyclists.

According to Snow, Morin retained consciousness during the immediate aftermath of the crash and was able to tourniquet his leg.

“He was able to save his leg that way,” Snow said. “It took six units of blood when he was airlifted from the accident.”

Morin was taken by helicopter to the Maine Medical Center in Portland. According to his father, Morin’s injuries included a separated shoulder and fractured pelvis. He has undergone 11 surgeries, placing metal rods and screws in his leg. Snow said doctors were not sure if a skin graft would take at first but, fortunately, it was successful.

Snow also belongs to the Jarheads MC, but he wasn’t on the ride that day because he was in Springfield for his grandson’s graduation.

“That Saturday morning, we got the call that Josh was in the accident,” Snow said.

Morin’s wife, Joy, was at the ride that day, Snow said. She happened to ride with another member’s wife who had a car that day, instead of riding along with her husband. Joy has been staying with her husband throughout his recovery process.

According to Snow, Morin has been staying at the center in Portland but has been transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, and will stay there until Aug, 19. At that time, a 12th surgery will be conducted to install a permanent rod in Morin’s leg.

RMV scandal

In a court appearance in June, Zhukovskyy pleaded not guilty to seven counts of negligent homicide from the June 21 accident. Zhukovskyy was working as a driver for a transportation company based in Springfield at the time of the accident and was the sole occupant of the 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup, which was towing a trailer. According to Westfield Transport Inc., the accident occurred during Zhukovskyy’s second trip with the company, during the third day of his 30-day trial period.

State police collision analysis and reconstruction teams are investigating the crash, along with local police, the Coos County Attorney’s Office and the National Transportation Safety Board. Last week, after obtaining a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Boston Globe reported Zhukovskyy was high on drugs, and claimed to be reaching for an unspecified beverage when the collision occurred.

According to the Boston Globe story, Zhukovskyy has been arrested in six states for drug-related and driving offenses, including the charges from the June 21 crash, and was involved in a rollover truck accident in Texas just weeks before.

The June incident has exposed an ongoing scandal with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. The state RMV had not been processing notices sent in by other states, instead leaving them to go unchecked for more than a year. Approximately 1,600 Massachusetts drivers have since been flagged as drivers who should have had their licenses revoked for out-of-state infractions. The former head of the RMV, Erin Deveney, has since resigned in the wake of the crash and news of the backlogged review of driver records.

Officials say Zhukovskyy received a drunk driving charge May 11 in Connecticut, which should have triggered the termination of his commercial driver’s license. However, Connecticut officials say they notified the RMV about his arrest electronically, but it was not processed because of the way the Massachusetts RMV’s system for commercial driver’s licenses was programmed.

Those killed in the June 21 accident were identified as: Michael Ferzzi, 62, Albert Mazza, 59, Desma Oakes, 42, and Aaron Perry, 45 — all from New Hampshire; Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, R.I.; and Jo-Ann Corr and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville. They were all former Marines, except for Jo-Ann Corr.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.


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