LYNN — So much of what the twin brothers did, they did together.
They grew up with the same group of friends, and both attended Lynn Classical High School, where they lined up one behind the other to receive honor roll certificates. The only children in their family, they lived at home while taking classes at North Shore Community College, both working part-time shifts at Walgreens.
Now, Riley and Dillon McManus, 20, lie in hospital beds three rooms away from each other in an intensive care unit after they were struck by a Hummer just outside their Boston Street home late Tuesday. Both are in critical condition, and Dillon is in a medically induced coma as doctors wait to see if he will recover from severe head trauma.
“I don’t think anyone can imagine having this happen to one child, let alone two children, to two twins,” said Jimmy Rogers, minister at the Boston Church of Christ, who arrived at the hospital minutes after the brothers were admitted. On Thursday, he spoke on behalf of the twins’ parents.
At about 11 p.m. Tuesday, the brothers were walking to a 7-Eleven to pick up some snacks, a neighbor said, when they were struck by a Hummer. Police found the twins lying in the road outside the family’s home at 701 Boston St. They were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Riley was awake; Dillon was unconcious.
‘The family is doing well, but obviously things are just hour by hour, day by day. We’re praying for a miracle, especially with Dillon’s injuries.’
Dillon’s injuries are graver, according to Rogers, who has been the family’s pastor for years. Dillon experienced severe head trauma.
Riley also experienced head trauma and underwent surgery to reduce pressure on his brain. He has mostly been kept sedated since he was admitted, but has been awakened several times, exchanging winks, smiles, or quiet words with his parents. He will undergo surgery Friday for a hip fracture, Rogers said.
“The family is doing well, but obviously things are just hour by hour, day by day,” Rogers said. “We’re praying for a miracle, especially with Dillon’s injuries.”
Lynn police are continuing to investigate the accident, which occurred on a major thoroughfare. close to a traffic light.
No charges have been filed against the driver, Angela Okenkwo, 36, of Lynn, said Lieutenant Chris Kelly of the Lynn Police Department.
Though they are fraternal, rather than identical twins, the brothers look alike, with the same blond hair and wide smiles.
Their father, Gerry McManus, heard the accident outside the window of their home Tuesday night, but assumed it was two cars in a fender-bender.
When he went outside to assist, he saw his two sons.
Those who know them were shocked that the twins were injured in the same accident.
“Even the [hospital] staff that night, they were visibly moved,” Rogers said.
The twins’ mother, who was on a vacation to visit family when the accident occurred, rushed home on a flight from Minnesota Wednesday morning.
Riley was supposed to be placed in the surgical intensive care unit, another wing of the hospital, but doctors decided to keep him in the neuroscience unit to keep him close to his brother.
Though the brothers cannot receive visitors other than immediate family, Riley’s teammates from his days as a goalie on the Lynn Classical lacrosse team piled into the hospital lobby Wednesday to deliver hugs and hopeful words to the McManus family.
Kevin Sosa, 20, has known the brothers for 12 years, ever since he and his family moved into the house just behind the McManus family.
Growing up, they spent a lot of time together, hanging out and playing video games.
“They’re just average teenagers,” said Sosa. “They’re great guys.”
The family is tightknit, friends agreed. Rogers said Gerry McManus made a habit of asking his sons, “Have I told you I love you?” They usually responded yes.
After Riley awoke from sedation Wednesday, his father asked the question in a soft voice.
Riley whispered no, a private family joke.
“That was a really wonderful moment,” Rogers said. “It was good to see Riley still had that great sense of humor that’s so much a part of both of them.”
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