CONCORD, N.H. — A jury on Tuesday acquitted a commercial truck driver of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in a horrific head-on collision in northern New Hampshire that exposed fatal flaws in the processing of license revocations across states.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 26, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was found innocent on seven counts of manslaughter, seven counts of negligent homicide and one count of reckless conduct in connection with the June 21, 2019, crash in Randolph. Jailed since the crash, he appeared to wipe away tears as the verdict was read and briefly raised his index finger skyward before leaving the courtroom.
Jurors deliberated for less than three hours after a two-week trial during which 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. But a judge dismissed eight charges related to whether he was impaired, and his attorneys blamed the lead biker, Albert “Woody” Mazza, who was among those killed.
In closing statements Tuesday morning, the two sides raised questions about who was more “all over the place”: the trucker accused of swerving back and forth across the road or the eyewitnesses accused of contradicting each other.
“There is no doubt that this accident was a tragedy,” said defense attorney Jay Duguay Duguay said. “But we are not here to decide whether or not this was a tragedy.”
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