More than three years after the collision in northern New Hampshire that claimed the lives of seven Marine motorcycle club members, the trial for the commercial truck driver is set to begin on Tuesday.
On Monday, the jury went to the collision site and followed Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s path from a Gorham car dealership along US Route 2 to the crash site in Randolph, which was about 10 miles away. Opening comments in the trial, which is taking place in Lancaster’s state superior court, are anticipated on Tuesday.
The bikers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island who passed away on June 21, 2019, ranged in age from 42 to 62. They were a part of a bigger group that had just departed a motel beside the road in order to set up for an annual gathering at an American Legion post in Gorham.
When they collided with the vehicle pulling an empty flatbed trailer, it was moving west while they were moving east.
Michael Ferazzi of Contoocook, New Hampshire; Albert Mazza of Lee, New Hampshire; Desma Oakes of Concord, New Hampshire; Aaron Perry of Farmington, New Hampshire; and Daniel Pereira of Riverside, Rhode Island were all killed. Edward and Jo-Ann Corr, a couple from Lakeville, Massachusetts, were also among the victims.
Along with the fatalities, other riders also suffered injuries.
Zhukovskyy, 26, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, has entered a not-guilty plea to charges of reckless behavior, DUI, manslaughter, and negligent murder. Since then, he has been imprisoned.
Zhukovskyy, who was coming home after delivering autos for a Massachusetts transport business, was accused of using drugs frequently by federal agents.
According to officials, Zhukovskyy admitted to using heroin and cocaine that morning but claimed to be “fine and OK to drive” later that day.
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His attorneys claim an independent investigation proved one of the motorcyclists who died was intoxicated and was responsible for hitting the truck and causing the accident. Federal investigations discovered that several of the riders and passengers were intoxicated, but that this was not what caused the collision.
In a report that was accepted by the National Transportation Safety Board in December 2020, it was said that Zhukovskyy’s drug-induced impairment was the “probable cause” of him crossing the centre line on the highway and igniting the horrific disaster.
Zhukovskyy shouldn’t have even been driving, according to the prosecution. They claimed that due to an arrest for drunk driving in Connecticut about two months prior, his commercial driver’s licence should have been suspended in Massachusetts.