PLAISTOW — After seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club lost their lives in a horrific June crash in Randolph, individuals from Summit Metal Fabricators are working to ensure those motorcyclists will not be forgotten.
Summit Structural Steel Department lead Tim Soucy, shop lead Ashley LeClair and about a dozen other team members have been working over the last few weeks to craft a memorial to be placed in Randolph at an undisclosed location.
The memorial features five steel silhouettes of motorcyclists who appear to be travelling down the highway. It is constructed from three-eighths-inch thick solid steel and the silhouettes will sit on a large steel plate. Making it involved cutting, painting, welding and clear-coating the silhouettes.
The "Jarheads" is a motorcycle club comprised primarily of Marine Corps veterans, spouses and family members.
The crash, which occurred on Route 2, killed the bikers when a pickup truck, hauling a flatbed trailer, crashed into the group. The pickup driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of negligent homicide and remains behind bars.
Soucy said it would have cost about $10,000 to make and took about 300 hours of volunteered time to build. They hope to complete the project by the end of September.
Soucy said the idea was sparked by a charity event he attended put on by Manchester band Recycled Percussion. There, money was being raised to construct a memorial.
When Summit Metal Fabricators offered to do the job for free, the $21,000 raised from the event was given to the families of the victims.
"For me, that's what got me to do this," Soucy said.
Although Spencer said he does not ride motorcycles, his family members do.
He said the accident was "a tragic incident that (ended) the lives of people who served our country, who I have a lot of respect for."
He added that the band members used their voices and popularity to bring people together to show support for the victims.
"And that's what I hope it does," he said.
Soucy said he is expressing gratitude along with regrets with the project.
"This is about the people who lost their lives. It's tough," Soucy said. "Personally, I did not serve in the military (so) this is my way of saying 'thanks'."
Although the memorial was primarily constructed in the shop, several community members pitched in and donated services or supplies to contribute the best result.
According to Soucy, Dan Byron of Atkinson will do airbrush work; Blinn's Auto Body in Plaistow will do the clear-coating; and Precision Delivery Solutions of Hooksett will drive the memorial to its landing spot. Several others from the community have volunteered their services, Soucy said.
"As word has spread people have stepped up as needed," Soucy said. "Some of these guys are real psyched."
"We need to do something to remember it and not let it fade away and just to go waste," shop owner John Blinn Sr. said of the tragedy.