As his trial progresses, many charges have been dropped against a driver involved in a crash that claimed the lives of several members of Marine Corps. motorcycle club three years ago.
On Wednesday, August 3, the prosecution rested its case against Volodymr Zhukovskyy, 26, in connection to the traffic deaths of seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire in 2019.
During the course of the trial, prosecutors have argued that Zhukovskyy ingested heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine on the day of the fatal crash and pointed to an interview with police during which Zhukovskyy appears to admit to causing the crash.
However, the defense team for Zhukovskyy countered by arguing 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 was therefore responsible.
The defense then moved to dismiss all charges during the Wednesday court appearance.
Judge Peter Bornstein ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support DUI or intoxication charges and allowed for the dismissal of eight charges related to substance use. However, Zhukovskyy is still facing fifteen counts including negligent homicide, manslaughter, and reckless conduct.
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 that reportedly crossed over the centerline into the eastbound lane. 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.
The defense for Zhukovskyy is expected to make its case on Thursday.