MANCHESTER — Two motorcyclists injured in a crash on Route 7 in Manchester on Sunday were traveling in a pack at high speeds at the time of the wreck, police said Tuesday.
The riders, part of a pack of 14 riders from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, were riding northbound on Route 7 at about 105 mph when one of the riders hit another, causing the crash about a mile and a half north of the Manchester exit at mile marker 35.6.
Manchester Police Department Officer Sean Madigan said several of the riders witnessed the crash and told police that their group was speeding.
“Three or four of them admitted to going that speed,” Madigan said. “Most of them didn’t see what happened.”
No one is quite sure how the crash happened, but Madigan said the two bikes, the third and fourth in the group, had paint transfer between one bike’s front fender and the other bike’s rear end, telling him there was contact on the highway.
The two riders were both airlifted by helicopter to Albany Medical Center, Madigan said.
Madigan said the front bike of the two, was ridden by Daniel Mozdzen, 62, of Weare, N.H. He was hit from behind by Paul Perrault, 68, of Manchester, N.H.
Mozdzen slid about 245 feet down the highway and into the grass on the side of the road, while his motorcycle slid 292 feet down the road from the point of impact and burst into flames.
Perrault and his bike went off the side of the road and ended up right next to Mozdzen in the grass.
Witnesses said Perrault’s bike slid off the road and hit a grassy embankment and shot 20 feet or more into the air.
Both riders were wearing helmets and leather but both suffered significant road rash.
In addition, Perrault suffered internal injuries, including punctured lungs and remained in Albany Med’s intensive care unit as of Tuesday.
Madigan was able to speak with Mozdzen on Tuesday when he was released from the hospital.
“They got very lucky,” Madigan said.
The crash shut down Route 7 from 2:07 to 4:51 p.m. with Manchester and East Dorset Fire departments on scene to extinguish the bike fire and control traffic.
Manchester Police Officer Dontrell Royal helped at the scene, as did an officer with the Winhall Police Department.
Northshire Rescue transported the two injured bikers to the emergency services building where LifeNet landed to take the men to Albany.