NEWTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts man on Wednesday was recovering from injuries suffered when a man drove a truck down a New York City bike path killing eight people, five of them his high school friends from Argentina, according to a family friend and an Argentinian official.
Mateo Estreme, Argentinian consul in New York, said Martin Marro, a 48-year-old native of Argentina and resident of Newton was doing well. He said Marro was conscious but “very sedated” as he recovered at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Marro was celebrating his 30th high school reunion in New York with visiting classmates when a truck driver plowed into people on Tuesday near the World Trade Center.
Federal prosecutors brought terrorism charges a day later against 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant. They said he supported the Islamic State terrorist group and was “consumed by hate and a twisted ideology.”
The extent of Marro’s injuries is unclear, but friends in Massachusetts were told by his family that he’s improving, said James Cote, a city councilor in the affluent Boston suburb.
“It’s tough that he lost so many friends, but we’re happy that he survived,” said Cote, whose wife, also a native of Argentina, traveled to New York with another friend Wednesday to help support Marro and his wife, who was not present during the attack.
Marro, a scientist at the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis’ lab in Cambridge, is a “regular, everyday suburban guy” who plays in a local men’s soccer league and coaches his son’s soccer team, according to Cote.
Last week, Marro hosted a fundraiser for Cote that was attended by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, but the family is otherwise very quiet and private, he added.
Kristin Heyer, who lives across the street from the family, said Marro was generous and welcoming to her family when they moved into the neighborhood steps from Boston College two years ago.
She said the two families attend the same local church and their eldest sons play on the same soccer team.
“It’s devastating. All day I’ve been thinking about them,” Heyer said of the Marro family. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to go through seeing all of your best friends die in front of you. It’s a tremendous loss and a tremendous trauma that I can’t fathom.”
At Mount Alvernia Academy, a Catholic school in Newton, school administrators on Wednesday tried to make the day as normal as possible for Marro’s two young sons, said principal Barbara Plunkett.
She said Marro is a “big part” of the school’s small, tight knit community.
“At this point, we’re really just trying to keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” Plunkett said of the family. “We’re working really hard to support the children and pray for a quick recovery for Martin.”