A year and a half after seven motorcyclists were killed in a New Hampshire crash, the case continues to work its way through the courts. Now, the trucker who collided with the riders is trying to get released from jail ahead of his trial, while his lawyer simultaneously pushes for his post-crash statements to be suppressed.
On June 21, 2019, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, ran his commercial truck into the Jarheads Motorcycle Club while they were riding. Seven riders were killed and three injured, and Zhukovskyy was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide in the aftermath. In the months since, there’s been a string of shocking allegations; journalists found Zhukovskyy had arrest records in six states, including drug charges and traffic violations, and a brush with the law only a few weeks before the fatal crash which theoretically should have resulted in his commercial licence being cancelled.
Massachusetts went on a licence ban-a-thon after the crash, digging through its records and laying the hammer down on other drivers who should have been banned, but had slipped through the system. Then came the allegations about drugs: Prosecutors said Zhukovskyy was on a cocktail of drugs at the time of the crash. He was deemed a flight risk, and had his bail hearing denied. He was supposed to go on trial in November, 2020.
His lawyers are still working hard, though. Zhukovskyy’s legal team says some of his post-crash statement to investigators should be thrown out, as he’d made comments indicating he wanted the interview to end. The Bangor Daily News says the trial judge is “considering” this argument. Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Union-Leader says lawyers are also trying to get Zhukovskyy out of jail before his trial—a move prosecutors are strongly opposing. The prosecution reckons Zhukovskyy is a serious flight risk, as he’s a Ukrainian national with family still in the Ukraine.
Stay tuned on this one—if they’ve kept him locked up this long, it seems unlikely Zhukovskyy will be released.