WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was found not guilty on seven counts of manslaughter in a crash that killed seven people more than three years ago on a New Hampshire road. The seven who died were part of a Marines motorcycle club and were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
That verdict is causing a lot of controversy. “I’ll tell you what, the motorcycle community today is stunned,” said Dennis Bolduc, owner of Indian Motorcycle of Springfield. “We are stunned.”
Bolduc can’t believe the decision that came out of a New Hampshire courtroom on Tuesday. After nearly two hours of deliberations, the jury found that 26-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy not guilty of all charges. The West Springfield man from Ukraine faced multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence, and reckless conduct.
As part of the motorcycle community, Bolduc knows a survivor of the crash. “I’ve held fundraisers for Josh Morin,” he said. “He’s the guy who was severely injured in that accident. He’s had 25 operations on his leg. I spoke to him today and the man was at a loss for words, just as I was when I talked to him.”
Prosecutors argued that Zhukovskyy, who had taken heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine that day, repeatedly swerved back and forth before the head-on crash and told police he caused it. However, a judge dismissed eight charges related to whether he was impaired.
Zhukovskyy’s commercial driving license should have been revoked in Massachusetts at the time of the crash because of a drunken driving arrest in Connecticut about two months earlier. His license wasn’t suspended due to a backlog in out-of-state notifications about driving offenses.
“There’s no justice, the guy has a DUI in Connecticut. He should not have been driving that truck. If the laws had worked properly, protected those veterans, that Connecticut referral should have gone to Massachusetts, his license should have been pulled. He should never have been in New Hampshire,” said Bolduc.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu also expressed his anger over the acquittal saying the fallen seven did not receive justice and that it was an absolute tragedy.