A jury in New Hampshire has found a commercial vehicle driver innocent on all charges connected to a crash that killed seven members of a motorcycle club in New Hampshire in 2019.
On Tuesday, August 9, a jury ruled in favor of Volodymr Zhukovskyy, 26, after approximately two hours of deliberation.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy points to the sky and breaks down after the not guilty verdicts are read in the deaths of 7 motorcycle riders in NH in 2019.https://t.co/11v74Pl64C pic.twitter.com/8hKfrio6qV
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) August 9, 2022
Zhukovskyy was found not guilty on all fifteen charges, including seven counts of manslaughter, seven counts of negligent homicide, and one charge of reckless conduct.
You can view the reading of the verdict below.
LIVE: Verdict being read at Volodymyr Zhukovskyy trial — https://t.co/OvmN2Pg9Qc https://t.co/KogH7GvpCW
— WMUR TV (@WMUR9) August 9, 2022
Zhukovskyy’s defense attorney has argued throughout the trial that the lead motorcyclist, Albert “Woody” Mazza, had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of 0.08% at the time of the crash and drifted across the center line into the path of Zhukovskyy’s pickup. Mazza was one of the seven motorcyclists killed in the crash.
During last week’s court proceedings, a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support DUI or intoxication charges and allowed for the dismissal of eight charges related to substance use. This reduced the number of charges Zhukovskyy faced from 23 to 15.
Zhukovskyy previously pleaded not guilty to all felony charges, including negligent homicide, negligent homicide-DUI, reckless manslaughter, DUI aggravated collision with serious injury, and reckless conduct with a deadly weapon.
The crash occurred on June 21, 2019 on Route 2 in the town of Randolph, New Hampshire, when a group of 10 motorcycles was hit by a Westfield Transport Inc. pickup truck hauling a trailer. Seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club died in the crash. The pickup was operated by Zhukovskyy, a Westfield Transport employee at the time.
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.
Westfield Transport shuttered soon after the fatal crash. In February 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts announced that Westfield Transport, Inc. owners Dunyadar Gasanov (aka Damien Gasanov), 36, and Dartanayan Gasanov, 35, were facing falsification of records charges. Dunyadar Gasanov was also indicted on charges of conspiracy to falsify records and making a false statement to a federal investigator.