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Report: Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was high, reaching for drink when his pickup truck slammed into 10 motorcyclists in deadly New Hampshire crash

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield stands during his arraignment in Hampton District Court Monday, June 24, 2019. (Don Treeger/The Republican via AP, Pool/TNS)

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was high and reaching for a drink when he slammed his pickup truck into 10 motorcyclists in Randolph, New Hampshire in late June, leaving seven dead, according to a federal inspection report obtained by The Boston Globe.

The 23-year-old West Springfield man tested positive for an unspecified drug following the June 21 collision, according to a report from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration obtained by the Globe. The report said the drug was a narcotic or amphetamine, but did not specify, according to the newspaper.

Zhukovskyy admitted he was reaching for a beverage when he swerved into the members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, according to the report.

Zhukovskyy was driving a truck with a trailer attached for Westfield Transport Inc. of West Springfield. An inspector found two dozen federal motor safety violations involving Zhukovskyy and his truck, according to the newspaper. At least 14 of those were the results of the crash, according to the report.

Massachusetts State Police arrested Zhukovskyy three days after the crash at his home. He was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide.

Zhukovskyy has a checkered driving history that included a recent OUI arrest in Connecticut, drug charges in Texas and elsewhere. The tragedy has led to a scandal at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, which did not revoke Zhukovskyy’s license within the required window despite a notification from Connecticut of his arrest for allegedly operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

For years, possibly as far back as 2011, out-of-state violations against Massachusetts drivers were not registered into the Registry of Motor Vehicles computer system. Instead they were sorted into mail bins that sat in a records room in Quincy.

MassDOT officials shared in recent weeks that 72 bins containing tens of thousands of out-of-state paper violations were found unprocessed during a review of the process after the crash.

The backlog included information transmitted from Connecticut transportation officials that would have terminated Zhukovskyy’s commercial driver’s license.

The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Erin Deveney resigned days after the crash.


© 2019