WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was found innocent on seven counts of manslaughter in a crash that killed seven people more than three years ago on a New Hampshire road. That verdict is causing a lot of controversy for local residents.
“I’ll tell you what, the motorcycle community today is stunned, we are stunned,” said Dennis Bolduc, owner of Indian Motorcycle of Springfield.
Bolduc can’t believe the decision out of a New Hampshire courtroom Tuesday. After nearly two hours of deliberations, the jury voted that 26-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was found not guilty of all charges. The West Springfield man faced multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence, and reckless conduct.
The seven who died were part of a Marines motorcycle club and were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Bolduc is part of the motorcycle community and knows a survivor of that crash, “I’ve held fundraisers for Josh Morin. 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Zhukovskyy’s commercial driving license should have been revoked in Massachusetts at the time of the crash because of a drunken driving arrest in Connecticut about two months earlier.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.