A defense lawyer says that one of the seven motorcyclists killed in crash in rural New Hampshire last summer was to blame for crossing the center line and causing the collision.
On March 27, Jay Duguay, the attorney representing 24 year old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, filed a motion asking to free his client on bail.
Zhukovskyy has been indicted on 23 counts including negligent homicide and DUI following a June 21, 2019 crash that occurred on Route 2 in the town of Randolph, New Hampshire, when a group of 10 motorcycles were hit by a pickup truck hauling a trailer that reportedly crossed over the centerline into the eastbound lane. Seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club died in the crash.
— TruckSafetyCoalition (@TruckSafetyOrg) June 27, 2019
In the motion, Duguay argues that the New Hampshire State Police’s determination that Zhukovskyy’s pickup truck was 1 and a half feet over the center line was “deeply flawed” and says that an independent accident reconstruction firm reached different conclusions in their report.
According to that report, the motorcycle driven by 59 year old Albert “Woody” Mazza Jr. allegedly crossed over the center line and struck the front left tire of Zhukovskyy’s pickup truck, causing “catastrophic air loss to the left front tire of the truck.”
Duguay’s motion also says that autopsy results showed that Mazza’s blood alcohol level was 0.135%, above the legal limit of 0.08%.
Duguay wrote, “Given the dramatically different factual circumstances as they are known at this time, Mr. Zhukovskyy respectfully requests an evidentiary hearing on the continuing need for preventative detention.”
Prosecutors have until April 10 to respond the Duguay’s motion.
Mazza’s wife has sued trucking company the that employed Zhukovskyy, Westfield Transport, accusing them of negligence in hiring him with several violations on his driving record. Westfield Transport has since shut down.
An FMCSA report showed that Zhukovskyy tested positive for an “unspecified” narcotic or amphetamine drug that made him incapable of driving safely at the time of the crash.
Following the crash, troopers said that Zhukovskyy told them that he had “reached downward and attempted to retrieve an object from the bottom area of the center console of his vehicle” just before the crash.
During the post-crash investigation, authorities learned that Zhukovskyy was arrested on May 11, 2019, for OUI in Connecticut and that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles should have terminated his CDL but failed to do so.
Jury selection for Zhukovskyy’s trial is scheduled for November 2020.