Concord woman killed in Randolph crash had just started riding motorcycles

  • The scene of a fatal motorcycle crash in Randolph on Friday is shown. AP

  • Desma OakesAge 42Concord, NH

Monitor staff
Published: 6/24/2019 12:04:38 PM

Desma Oakes started to ride a motorcycle last year after overcoming several tragedies in life.

Now, her family is coming to terms with her death in a motorcycle crash in rural New Hampshire on Friday.

“It’s a huge loss,” her mother Debra Cook said. “Really hard to describe. We are just trying to take everything one day at a time.”

Oakes, 42, of Concord was one of seven people killed in Randolph when a pickup truck hauling a trailer crashed into a group of bikers on U.S. Route 2. They were all members of the biker group JarHeads Motorcycle Club, a group for Marines and their significant others.

Oakes was riding on a bike with her boyfriend, Aaron Perry of Farmington. Perry was also killed.

Law enforcement officials said the accident was one of the largest fatality counts from a road accident the state has ever seen.

The driver of the pickup, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, was arrested Monday at his home in West Springfield, Mass., by the Massachusetts State Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit for his role in the fatal crash. He was taken into custody on a fugitive from justice warrant out of New Hampshire and was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide.

He was arraigned Monday afternoon in Massachusetts and will be extradited to New Hampshire.


Oakes’s death comes as her family is still grappling with two other major losses in the last decade.

Oakes lost her four-year-old son to lung cancer in 2009, and her husband to the same disease three years later.

Despite the difficulties she had faced, Oakes had a positive outlook on life, her mother said. She focused on giving to others and spent time volunteering for charities that helped children diagnosed with cancer.

“She was someone who just loved life in general,” Cook said. “She was outgoing, she was giving. She was a hard worker.”

Cook said things were going well for Oakes lately: Her older son Colby had just graduated high school and she had been working on her health. She had lost 125 pounds in the last year, her mother said.

She had also just started riding motorcycles nine months ago with her new boyfriend, Aaron Perry. Cook said Oakes was close with her family.

“Even though she lived so far away, she would call often and we would visit every month, if not more,” she said.

Cook said Oakes worked in the field of human relations.

Oakes was revealed as one of the victims along with the six other motorcyclists killed in the crash at a press conference at the state Incident Planning and Operations Center in Concord on Sunday.

Her photo was displayed on a screen projector, smiling for a portrait in a white blouse in front of a brown background.

Other New Hampshire bikers killed in the collision were identified as Perry, 45, Albert Mazza, 59, of Lee and Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook. Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, R.I. and a couple, Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, Mass. were also killed. Young said the Corrs were riding on the same motorcycle at the time of the crash.

Two additional bikers were injured during the crash: Joshua Morin, 45 of Dalton, Mass., who is in stable condition at Maine Medical Center, and Steven Lewis, 58 of Brimfield, Mass., who has since been released from an area hospital, Young  said.

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