Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:
WVTI · WOXM · WVBA · WVNK · WVTQ · WVTX
WVPR · WRVT · WOXR · WNCH · WVPA
WVPS · WVXR · WETK · WVTB · WVER
WVER-FM · WVLR-FM · WBTN-FM

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@vermontpublic.org or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Driver involved in crash that killed seven motorcyclists asks for his license back

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Mass., center, charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of seven motorcycle club members in a 2019 crash, enters a courtroom at Coos County Superior Court, in Lancaster, N.H., Monday, July 25, 2022, before a scheduled visit to the crash scene. Zhukovskyy has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, reckless conduct and driving under the influence in the June 21, 2019, crash. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)
Steven Senne/AP
/
Pool AP
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Mass., center, charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of seven motorcycle club members in a 2019 crash, enters a courtroom at Coos County Superior Court, in Lancaster, N.H., Monday, July 25, 2022, before a scheduled visit to the crash scene. Zhukovskyy has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, reckless conduct and driving under the influence in the June 21, 2019, crash. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

The driver of a pick-up truck involved in a devastating 2019 crash in Randolph that killed seven motorcyclists is set to appear before a state official Wednesday as he seeks the return of his driving privileges.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 29, was acquitted on manslaughter and negligent homicide charges for his role in the collision on Route 2. Zhukovskyy, who was driving a truck towing a car carrier, collided with the lead rider of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, which is made up of U.S. Marines. Following a two-week trial in Coos County Superior Court in 2022, a jury sided with Zhukovskyy, whose lawyers presented evidence that the lead rider was over the legal alcohol limit, and that the collision occurred on the double yellow line.

Nearly five years after the crash, Zhukovskyy will make the case to a state hearings officer that his New Hampshire driving privileges be restored. The first of three scheduled days of hearings will begin Wednesday.

Zhukovskyy, however, won’t be present at the hearing, and is instead expected to speak on his own behalf over Zoom. State officials persuaded a hearings officer to bar him from the hearing, citing a perceived safety concern.

Earle Wingate, who is representing Zhukovskyy, criticized the decision, noting that the headquarters of the New Hampshire State Police is adjacent to the Department of Motor Vehicles building where the hearing will take place.

“I can’t believe that the State Police can’t control proceedings in their own house,” said Wingate. “That’s my own strongly held view.”

The central issue during the hearing will be whether Zhukovskyy caused or materially contributed to the crash. If he is found to have played a role, then it will be up to a hearings administrator to determine the length of his license suspension.

It is possible that members of the families of those killed and injured could testify.

At the time of the crash, Zhukovskyy was already facing charges for a drunk driving offense in Connecticut, which should have prompted the revocation of his Massachusetts-issued license. Bay State motor vehicle officials, however, failed to process the necessary paperwork. A subsequent review found that motor vehicle officials in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire were routinely failing to process out of state record suspensions in a timely fashion.

Zhukovskyy told officers following the Randolph crash that he had consumed heroin and cocaine on the morning of the collision, but a toxicology report submitted as evidence during the trial failed to establish his intoxication at the time of the collision.

Top stories of the day, 3X a week - subscribe today!

* indicates required

The Jarheads Motorcycle Club gathered in Randolph on June 21,

2019 for an annual meeting, and were heading east on Route 2 to an American Legion Hall when the collision occurred. Along with seven fatalities, another driver was seriously injured.

Following his acquittal in 2022, Zhukovksyy was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who cited his previous drug possession convictions and driving with a suspended license, according to the Associated Press. Zhukobskyy is a Ukrainian national. The AP reported that last year, he was ordered to be deported, but that his removal is on hold given the ongoing war in Ukraine.

It isn’t clear where Zhukovksyy is currently residing. He made his formal request to reinstate his license last September, writing in an email to the N.H. Department of Safety that he “would like to request a hearing to get my license back.”

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
Latest Stories