Trucking company that hired driver in N.H. crash pushes to toss widow’s suit

Jarheads MC lost 7 riders in deadly crash

BOSTON — A trucking company is asking a judge to toss the lawsuit by the widow of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club president killed in a June crash in New Hampshire, arguing a civil count doesn’t meet a legal standard because the widow did not identify her husband at the scene of the carnage.

Albert “Woody” Mazza Jr., the president of the Jarheads, was killed with six other bikers when a 2016 Dodge Ram towing a flatbed trailer drove into the pack June 21 on Route 2 in Randolph, N.H.

Mary Lou Welch, Mazza’s common-law wife, is suing Springfield, Mass.-based Westfield Transport Inc., for emotional distress and negligent hiring of Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the driver charged with 23 counts, including homicide, in the crash.

“Plaintiff has alleged that she ‘heard a big explosion,’ ‘saw trees on fire and bikes all over the road,’ and ‘saw a body trapped under the trailer,’ though acknowledged that she did not know if it was Mr. Mazza,” a motion to dismiss filed last week by Westfield attorney Michael Doherty said.

Doherty writes because Welch did not identify her husband, Welch’s claim does not meet a requirement for a negligent infliction of emotional distress charge.

Welch also argues Zhukovskyy shouldn’t have been hired by the since-disbanded Westfield because it should have known of Zhukovskyy’s May 2019 DWI arrest in Connecticut.

At the time of the New Hampshire collision, Zhukovskyy had a valid Massachusetts commercial driver’s license, and Westfield Transport was not a “proximate cause” of the crash that killed the bikers.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield

“Plaintiff acknowledges that the entity which issued Mr. Zhukovskyy his license had no record of said violations or abuse,” Doherty wrote, referencing the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which failed to revoke Zhukovskyy’s license despite numerous violations.

A third-party auditing company found an RMV employee did not make any changes to Zhukovskyy’s driving record before the collision after looking at his record for approximately seven seconds, and did not bring the issue to anyone else’s attention.

The auditing firm confirmed the employee hadn’t been trained on posting convictions to drivers’ records at the time, a revelation made as part of the RMV scandal which led to the resignation of the registrar and a subsequent multimillion dollar investigation.

Zhukovskyy, in detention in the Coos County House of Corrections since his arrest in June, pleaded not guilty to his charges in September after waiving a video arraignment from the jail.

Prosecutors and Zhukovskyy’s public defender have not yet agreed on a trial schedule. If convicted of all charges, Zhukovskyy could face up to 378 years in prison.

Source: Sentinel Source