Volodymyr Zhukovskyy New Hampshire pick-up crash motorcycles rejected

Longer jail time for negligent driver

A young truck driver who mowed down 10 motorcycles, killing seven people in a New Hampshire highway crash in June 2019, faces even longer jail time.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, was arrested near his home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, three days after the carnage on a fugitive-from-justice charge.

He has also been charged with seven counts of manslaughter, seven counts of negligent homicide-DUI, seven counts of negligent homicide, one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated and one count of reckless conduct.

volodoymyr zhukovskyy Rider killer faces long jail term carnage jail time
Zhukovskyy in court

Depending on verdicts, he faces more than 100 years’ jail time. However, New Hampshire is now considering increasing jail time for any driver who kills another after previous drunk driving convictions.

Zhukovskyy has two prior drink-driving convictions yet still held a Massachusetts commercial driver’s license. 

The state is also planning to allow the Director of Motor Vehicles to suspend or revoke an out-of-state truckers’ right to drive in a direct response to the multi-fatal.

Zhukovskyy is allegedly to have crossed the centre yellow line and run into a group of oncoming riders from the JarHeads Marine veterans group on their way to a charity event.

Meanwhile no charges have yet been laid over an October crash in which a Kia Rio on the wrong side of the road ploughed into a group of six riders, killing one in Kyogle, NSW.

Car ploughed into riders month
Kyogle crash aftermath (Image: Seven News)

NSW Police tell us the matter is “still under investigation”.

Jail time

Under New Hampshire law, negligent driving can currently be charged as a Class A if Zhukovskyy was intoxicated at the time.

Zhukovsky initially told officers he was leaning down to get something in his truck.

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says Zhukovskyy tested positive for some type of narcotic or amphetamine at the time of the crash.

That makes it a Class A felony, so the term can go up to 15 years.

The judge may apply either concurrent or consecutive penalties, but there is no law requiring them to do so.

If they are consecutive, it could amount to 105 years in jail. That could multiply if the state approves the Bill for tougher penalties.

Zhukovskyy was to face a hearing in November 2019 but it has been delayed until November 2020.

He is a legal immigrant with a probationary green card who has been living in the USA for 13 years with his family. He may be deported back to the Ukraine if he is ever released from police custody.

Highway carnage

Pick-Up crash with US riders accident
All US crash images Associated Press

The victims were members and associates of the Marine Jarheads Motorcycle Club who had just left their accommodation to attend their AGM.

They were hit by a Dodge 2500 pick-up truck carrying a long flat-bed trailer.

Club JarHeads president Manny Ribeiro says the driver “turned hard left into us and took out pretty much everyone behind me”.

Because the trailer was attached and it was such a big trailer, it was like a whip. It just cleaned us out.”

Among the carnage were a husband and wife.

The club consists of active duty or honourably discharged Marines and FMF Corpsmen.

Pick-Up crash with US riders accident
Image: AP

Three people were also injured and taken to nearby hospitals.

The ages of the victims ranged from 42 to 62.

gofundme account has been set up to rally support for the families of the victims.

It raised nearly $229,000 in the first day from more than 4720 people from across the US. It has raised almost $US590,000 ($A684,284) from more than 11,000 supporters.

As a result of crash investigations that found the driver should have had his licence revoked for previous drug charges, the Massachusetts motor vehicles chief resigned.

  1. Back on 17.4.2011 a very similar incident happened to 5 of our friends. They pulled over on the Putty Rd to change into their wet weather gear (as the weather was looking to rain). The riders were on a straight road which had a clear view, and about 200m after they pulled out, a woman driving in the opposite direction, decided she would overtake the car in front of her at high speed. She wiped all five riders off the road, killing 2 riders and seriously injuring another 2. Riders. She was a young P player, she already had a previous bad driving record, was known to speed often and witnesses reported that day she was driving erratically prior to the incident ( whilst on her mobile)
    2 yrs later at court she was given a good behaviour sentence. She was let off too easy. 2 lives lost, 2 with serious injuries & all 3 survivors left with the horrifying vision/memory of that day.

  2. Regardless of the years the vehicle driver gets for his actions in New Hampshire, nothing will ever console the families & friends of the seven riders lost that day.
    The car involved in the Kyogle accident was on the wrong side of the road as well & the lack of progress in charging the driver is seriously poor form, it doesn’t bring back the rider or console his family & friends, though the slackness appears to validate poor car driving.
    Completion of charges & sentencing assists all involved move on, all however will never forget the loss.

  3. It seems that NSW police don’t care about motorcyclists when you consider the slowness of their “investigations” into the Kyogle crash, yet they are very quick to book motorcyclists if they preceive there is something wrong with a motorcycle. It makes you think the traffic police are really there just as revenue raisers not to serve the justice system.

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