More details have surfaced about alleged drug abuse and additional driving violations by Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the 23-year-old charged with killing seven motorcyclists in a New Hampshire crash last week, according to a new report.
The newly unearthed records bring the total number of states in which Zhukovskyy has been charged with impairment or traffic violations to six.
The Boston Globe reports that records from Ohio show Zhukovskyy pleaded guilty in 2014 to driving with a suspended license, speeding, providing false information and possessing drug paraphernalia.
At the time, his license was reportedly suspended in Massachusetts due to a drunk driving charge.
The Globe reported that records in the Ohio case show that Zhukovskyy was pulled over while driving a 2007 Chevrolet Impala with Ohio plates after a police officer observed the vehicle make an unusual lane change.
The officer wrote in a police report that the car slowed down and sped up several times as he followed it, going over 75 miles per hour in a 60 zone. When he tried to stop the vehicle, the officer wrote that Zhukovskyy almost swerved off the shoulder and into the grass before overcorrecting and nearly driving back into the right lane of traffic.
When Zhukovskyy handed the officer a Massachusetts license, it had someone else’s name on it, according to The Globe.
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“The driver stated that he worked for a transport company called Nationwide Transport Inc. and they were transporting the car from Columbus, OH to Massachusetts,” the officer wrote. “The driver’s story did not make sense and he seemed very nervous.”
Inside the car, the officer allegedly found a blue straw with a white powdery substance inside it.
Here’s how Volodymyr Zhukovskyy remained behind the wheel despite a driving record littered with violations
Delays in communication and action between state officials appears to be at fault.
While records in the Ohio case included a note to notify Massachusetts officials of the incident, details of the conviction do not appear on Zhukovskyy’s Massachusetts driving record, according to the newspaper.
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Lindsey Bohrer told The Globe that agency notified Massachusetts electronically in 2014, though records no longer exist.
Zhukovskyy’s Ohio arrest is among a number of violations on his record, which also include an OUI arrest in Connecticut last month and a drunken driving charge in Westfield six years ago while he was a minor.
While driving a Mack truck car hauler in Baytown, Texas, earlier this month, Zhukovskyy also allegedly rolled the vehicle on a highway, claiming a car had swerved in front of him. Police were unable to locate the vehicle in question.
He was arrested five months earlier in the same Texas town for reported possession of a crack pipe in a Denny’s restaurant. About a week later, he received an improper lane violation in Iowa, according to The Globe.
Then, last Friday night, Zhukovskyy was allegedly behind the wheel of a truck that slammed into a group of motorcyclists on Route 2 in Randolph, New Hampshire.
Of the group of 10 riding, seven were killed, including a Massachusetts couple and a former Plymouth police sergeant.
New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval performed autopsies on the victims and determined the five men and two women died as a result of blunt trauma, she said.
Zhukovskyy stands accused of seven counts of negligent homicide in their deaths.
The Globe report also detailed the man’s alleged history of drug abuse.
Yuriy Grishchenko, former director of a faith-based residential rehabilitation program in Bristol, Pennsylvania, told the newspaper that Zhukovskyy enrolled in the program two years ago and stayed with the group for three months while struggling with alcohol, cocaine and heroin abuse.
“He came really sad, really depressed, really confused,” he told The Globe. “After about a month, I saw color in his face. I saw life in his face. He wanted to get a job, get married, and have kids.”
About a year ago, Zhkovskyy began drinking again and working as a truck driver, Grishchenko said.
During his arrest at his West Springfield home on Monday, Massachusetts State Police troopers said they found several wax packets in his pockets that believed by law enforcement to contain heroin.
The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Erin Deveney, resigned Tuesday following the public acknowledgement of failure by her office to terminate Zhukovskyy’s license.
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