Truck Driver Acquitted in New Hampshire Motorcycle Crash Requests License Reinstatement

Truck Driver Acquitted in New Hampshire Motorcycle Crash Requests License Reinstatement

In a hearing held in Concord, New Hampshire, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the commercial truck driver who was acquitted of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in a tragic 2019 crash, testified on Wednesday to request the reinstatement of his suspended license. Zhukovskyy, a permanent resident who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine as a child, had his Massachusetts license automatically suspended in New Hampshire following his arrest after the collision.

During the four-hour administrative hearing, Zhukovskyy, now 28 years old, appeared via video and shared his perspective on the accident. He stated that based on his interviews with the police at the time, he believed he was the one responsible for the crash. Zhukovskyy described feeling immense pressure and being in a state of confusion. His trial lawyers argued that there was no evidence of impairment at the time of the collision and that the lead biker involved was intoxicated and lost control of his motorcycle, sliding in front of Zhukovskyy’s truck.

Prosecutors, however, contended that Zhukovskyy played a role in the crash, as he had taken heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine on the day of the incident. They claimed that he repeatedly swerved back and forth before the collision and admitted to causing it during his interactions with the police. Despite these allegations, a jury acquitted Zhukovskyy of multiple manslaughter and negligent homicide charges in 2022.

The decision on whether to reinstate Zhukovskyy’s license now rests with hearings officer Ryan McFarland, who will determine if Zhukovskyy drove in an unlawful and reckless manner that materially contributed to the accident, as per state law. McFarland took the case under advisement after the hearing, and if he rules in favor of the state, Zhukovskyy’s license could remain suspended for up to seven years.

Manny Ribeiro, a former member of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club who was injured in the crash, expressed his opposition to reinstating Zhukovskyy’s license, stating that it would put everyone at risk. Ribeiro emphasized his firsthand knowledge of the events that unfolded on that fateful day.

The manslaughter acquittal drew strong reactions from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who believed that the victims did not receive justice, and Attorney General John Formella, who maintained that the state had presented a compelling case against Zhukovskyy.

During the hearing, Zhukovskyy’s attorney, Earle Wingate III, argued that his client responded promptly when he saw a motorcycle approaching as he drove around a crest on an east-west highway. Wingate contended that Zhukovskyy did not cause the crash.

However, David Hilts, an attorney representing the state Department of Safety, challenged Zhukovskyy’s account based on expert reports. Hilts argued that the tire positions at the time indicated that Zhukovskyy did not see the motorcycle in advance. He also questioned Zhukovskyy extensively about his drug use, highlighting the police interviews where Zhukovskyy evaded questions regarding drug use and impairment. Hilts further brought up prior accidents involving Zhukovskyy, including one that occurred just 18 days before the Randolph crash, suggesting that both Zhukovskyy and the lead biker materially contributed to the collision.

It is worth noting that Zhukovskyy’s license should have been revoked at the time of the crash due to his arrest in Connecticut for driving under the influence in May 2019. However, a backlog of out-of-state notifications about driving offenses prevented the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles from suspending his license. The Connecticut case is still pending.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

Leave a Reply

Share on:

[mailpoet_form id="1"]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter