The information in this report is preliminary and will be supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation.
About 6:30 p.m. eastern daylight time on Friday, June 21, 2019, a 2016 Ram 2500 Tradesman crew-cab pickup truck towing an unladen flatbed trailer was westbound on Gorham Hill Road (US Highway 2), east of Amos Brooks Road, in Randolph, Coos County, New Hampshire. At the same time, a group of motorcyclists was traveling in the opposite direction on Gorham Hill Road, approaching Amos Brooks Road. At that location, Gorham Hill Road is a two lane road divided by a double yellow centerline (figure 1). The posted speed limit is 50 mph.
Figure 1. Westbound approach to crash location on Gorham Hill Road,
west of intersection with Amos Brooks Road, Randolph, New Hampshire.
Before reaching the intersection of Amos Brooks Road, the pickup truck crossed the center of the road, entered the eastbound lane, and collided with the approaching motorcycles. After the crash, the pickup truck continued across the eastbound lane and came to rest on an earthen embankment next to the eastbound shoulder (figure 2). A fire broke out after the crash. Seven motorcyclists died and three received serious injuries as a result of the crash. The 23-year-old driver of the pickup truck was not injured.
Figure 2. Pickup truck and trailer at final rest on eastbound shoulder of Gorham Hill Road.
(Source: New Hampshire State Police)
The pickup truck was operated in commercial transportation by Westfield Transportation, based in Westfield, Massachusetts. Although the driver of the pickup truck held a commercial driver’s license (CDL), because the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating was under 26,001 pounds, operating the vehicle did not require a CDL. However, the carrier was subject to federal regulations governing commercial transportation, including driver’s hours of service and drug and alcohol testing.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to gather information about the commercial operation of the pickup truck and the licensing of the truck driver. All aspects of the Randolph, New Hampshire, crash remain under investigation as the NTSB focuses on determining the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes. We are working in partnership with the New Hampshire State Police, state licensing agencies in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.