Concord, N.H. – Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the 24-year-old Massachusetts man from West Springfield who is facing several charges in connection with the New Hampshire crash that left seven motorcyclists dead, wants to be released while awaiting trial.
Defense lawyers for Zhukovskyy filed a motion recently in Coos County Superior Court stating they are seeking a hearing and want their client released on personal recognizance while he awaits trial.
The defense lawyers, Steve Mirkin and Jay Duguay, said the court could place conditions on Zhukovskyy if released.
The renewed motion for a bail hearing filed Sept. 16 states Zhukovskyy was supposed to have a trial in November but because of the COVID pandemic, the trial may not begin until March 2021.
Zhukovskyy was indicted on several counts of negligent homicide and driving under the influence in connection with a June 21, 2019 crash on Route 2 in Randolph, New Hampshire that left seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club dead.
The club is a New England group that includes Marines and their spouses.
Zhukovskyy has remained held since his arrest last year. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors have argued that Zhukovskyy should remain held and have stated in prior court filings that he had fentanyl, morphine and a chemical found in cocaine in his system on the day of the fatal crash. The Massachusetts man also told investigators he would take drugs before starting work, prosecutors said in court records.
The prosecutors point to Zhukovskyy’s criminal record and state he was free on bail for a driving under the influence charge in Connecticut at the time of the crash.
Zhukovskyy’s case revealed that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles received thousands of paper notifications showing out-of-state violations for Massachusetts drivers, but the violations were never processed.
Roughly one month before the New Hampshire crash, Zhukovskyy was arrested in Connecticut on a driving under the influence charge. He refused to take a Breathalyzer test. His commercial driver’s license in Massachusetts should have been suspended.
The Massachusetts RMV was notified of the incident but never suspended his license.
Zhukovskyy was driving for the now-defunct Westfield Transport at the time of the crash.
The common-law wife of one of the victims has sued the trucking company.
Defense lawyers for Zhukovskyy contend he was not impaired at the time of the crash.
In the motion filed a few days ago, the lawyers said right after the crash there were at least eight law enforcement officers who had direct contact with Zhukovskyy.
“Not a single one of those officers noted any sign, symptom, or indication that Mr. Zhukovskyy was impaired at any point,” the lawyers said.
The defense lawyers also noted the report by Crash Labs Inc., an independent crash reconstruction firm hired by the state to review the crash.
On Sept. 2, prosecutors provided the defense with an addendum to the crash report written by Crash Labs Inc. The original report was produced in February.
Zhukovskyy’s lawyers argue all of the information from Crash Labs Inc. show the New Hampshire State Police reports and accounts are flawed.
The report said Zhukovskyy’s pickup truck which was towing a flatbed trailer was going west on the roadway while the motorcyclists were heading east on the two-lane road.
State police said the trailer was 1.5 feet over the center line and in the eastbound lane when Zhukovskyy’s truck hit the motorcyclists.
Crash Labs Inc. determined that Zhukovskyy’s truck struck the motorcycle driven by Albert Mazza Jr. directly over the center line of the highway, however.
The defense lawyers said the report shows Zhukovskyy had mere seconds to try to avoid the collision. Zhukovskyy did hit the brakes prior to the crash, the report said.
Mazza had turned around and looked back at the group of riders behind him before the crash, the defense team also stated in prior court filings. Mazza’s blood-alcohol level was 0.135, which is above the 0.08 legal limit, at the time of the crash, autopsy results show.
A judge could release Zhukovskyy on home confinement and electronic monitoring, and also order Zhukovskyy to surrender his passport and undergo regular drug testing, his lawyers said.
No date on the hearing has been set, according to court records.
Source: Mass Live