Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide
The driver charged in a crash that killed seven bikers is a Ukrainian national who faces deportation, it has been revealed, as the head of the Massachusetts motor vehicle division resigns for for failing to terminate the commercial driving license.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to seven counts of negligent homicide in the horror crash last week in Randolph, New Hampshire.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed an immigration detainer with the Coos County Sheriff seeking Zhukovskyy for possible removal proceedings if he is freed from detention.
Zhukovskyy’s father, who goes by the same name, told the Boston Herald that his son is a Ukrainian national and has permanent resident status in the U.S.
The scene where several motorcycles and a pickup truck collided on a rural, two-lane highway Friday in Randolph, N.H. The pickup truck was on fire when emergency crews arrived
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, stands with his attorney Donald Frank during his arraignment in Springfield District Court, Monday
Zhukovskyy kept his head down as he appeared in court on Monday as it was revealed he was stopped on suspicion of driving drunk just last month on May 11 and in 2013
The younger Zhukovskyy’s court file includes a letter dated Sunday from a deportation officer from ICE requesting details on his 2017 heroin and cocaine convictions.
Records show that he was also stopped on suspicion of driving drunk just last month, on May 11, in a Walmart parking lot in East Windsor, Connecticut after failing a sobriety test.
He was also arrested on a drunken driving charge in 2013 in Westfield, Massachusetts, state records show.
He was placed on probation for one year and had his license suspended for 210 days, The Westfield News reported.
That prior record should have prevented Zhukovskyy from holding a commercial driver’s license, however he did have a Massachusetts commercial license.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said in a statement that the RMV failed to act on information provided by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles about an incident involving Zhukovskyy that should have cost him his license.
As a result, she accepted the resignation of Erin Deveney, head of the RMV.
Witnesses described a ‘devastating’ scene as bystanders tried to help riders that were peppered along the highway
The tragic incident occurred on Route 2 near the town of Randolph, New Hampshire shortly before 6.30pm Friday. The pickup truck burst into flames after striking the bikers
Zhukovskyy, a driver for a transport company, was ordered on Tuesday to remain in preventive detention, with a judge saying his driving record poses a potential danger to the public and himself.
The plea was entered by Zhukovskyy’s attorney Melissa Davis in Coos County Court in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Zhukovskyy remains behind bars there. Davis didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.
The Dodge pickup Zhukovskyy was driving was towing a flatbed trailer and collided with the motorcycles in Randolph early Friday evening, investigators say. He was driving erratically and crossed the center line, according to criminal complaints released Tuesday.
A survivor of the crash said the trailer wiped out most of the bikers behind him.
Killed in the crash were Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire; Albert Mazza, 49, of Lee, New Hampshire; Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, New Hampshire; Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire; Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island; and Joanne and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, Massachusetts.
The crash victims were members or supporters of the Marine JarHeads, a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses and ranged in age from 42 to 62. Four were from New Hampshire, two from Massachusetts and one from Rhode Island.
Hundreds of motorcyclists participated in a ‘Blessing of the Bikes’ ceremony in Columbia, New Hampshire Sunday, honoring the seven bikers who were killed in a crash Friday night
JarHeads president Manny Ribeiro, who survived the crash, said he just remembers an ‘explosion’ and the trailer from the truck wiping out most of the bikers behind him. The crash would not have been so deadly, he said, if not for the trailer.
After the crash, Ribeiro recalled seeing Zhukovskyy ‘screaming and running around’ in the road before authorities arrived and took him away.
Zhukovskyy was arrested Monday morning at his home in Massachusetts and handed over to New Hampshire authorities after a court appearance that day.
Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicate that the company Zhukovskyy was driving for at the time of the motorcycle crash, Westfield Transport, has been cited for various violations in the past two years, MassLive.com reported.
Phones rang unanswered at the company. The owner has previously said he was cooperating with the investigation.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin November 8, with the trial running through December.
Biker victims of the horror crash
The victims of the crash on June 21 in Randolph, New Hampshire have been identified.
Authorities identified the seven bikers who died in the Friday night crash with a pickup truck. Among the victims were Joanne and Edward Corr, both 58, (pictured) of Lakeville, Massachusetts
Bikers Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, New Hampshire, and Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire, were also killed in the Friday night crash
The victims – including Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island (left), and Albert Mazza, 49, of Lee, New Hampshire (right) – were members or supporters of the Marine JarHeads
The Marine JarHeads is a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses. Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, was among the crash victims