A lawyer for Ukrainian national Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, who has been incarcerated since last June, filed a motion late last Friday for “an evidentiary hearing on the continuing need for preventative detention and his release on conditions of bail.”
Zhukovskyy is accused of driving his pickup truck and a trailer into a pack of motorcycles in Randolph, New Hampshire on June 21. 2019. The riders and passengers were all members or associates of the JarHeads Motorcycle Club. The dead are Jo-Ann and Edward Corr; Michael Ferazzi; Albert Mazza; Daniel Pereira; Desma Oakes; and Aaron Perry.
Evidence surfaced after the crash that Zhukovskyy hazd flipped a truck and trailer in Baytown, Texas two weeks before the New Hampshire fatalities.
In a separate incident on February 1, Baytown police were called to a Denny’s restaurant where, according to Baytown Police Lieutenant Steve Dorris, they found Zhukovskyy sitting at a counter “talking to himself and acting strange.” Police searched him and found a crack pipe. They charged Zhukovskyy with possession of drug paraphernalia and apparently released him. Dorris told television station KHOU that Zhukovskyy apparently “has a truck route that includes Baytown.”
On May 11 in Connecticut, less than a month before the Baytown rollover, Zhukovskyy was observed to be “revving his truck engine and jumping around outside the vehicle.” He flunked a field sobriety test. According to the police incident report, he made “suicidal comments” and exhibited “extreme behavior.” He was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and released on $2500 bond.
Zhukovskyy is accused of driving under the influence of a controlled drug or drugs at the time of the crash.
Most news coverage of the June collision has described the incident as preventable. Zhukovskyyw was licensed to drive in neighboring Massachusetts. After the crash Erin Deveny, who was in charge of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, resigned.
The Defense Motion
In the morion filed Friday Zhukovskyy’s lawyer, Jay Duguay, claims that one of the victims, Jarheads Motorcycle Club president Albert Mazza Jr., actually caused the accident.
Duguay writes: “Since that time (of the incident) the State has provided discovery that has substantially altered the original information available at the time of the bail hearing.”
“Specifically, State Police C.A.R. team initially determined that initial point of impact occurred between Mr. Zhukovskyy’s trailer and Albert Mazza’s motorcycle. They further concluded that the trailer was 1.5 ft over the center line into eastbound lane of travel at the time of impact. The report indicated that there was no evidence that the motorcycles were on the wrong side of the road at the time of the impact. The report noted that the first visible tire mark associated with the truck occurred at a position where the truck was protruding 4 feet into the eastbound lane of travel.
“The State recently disclosed a report from the Crash Labs, an independent accident reconstruction firm, which shows that the State Police CAR Team’s initial assessment was deeply flawed and that all the above information was incorrect.
“The new report found that the point of impact did not occur in the eastbound lane of travel. The report concludes that the initial impact occurred between the left side of Mr. Mazza’s motorcycle and the left front tire of Mr. Zhukovskyy’s truck. Critically, they determined that the impact occurred directly over the center line and that Mr. Mazza’s motorcycle was in fact protruding over onto the center line when it struck the truck.
“The report goes on to say that the impact caused catastrophic air loss to the left front tire of the truck which left a tire mark on the center line of the road. This tire mark had initially been attributed to an “unsuccessful avoidance maneuver” by Mr. Mazza, a position that the State has since retracted.
“The State also provided information in discovery showing that Mr. Mazza had been turned around looking back at the group of riders behind him just prior to the accident.
“Finally, autopsy reports show that at the time of the crash, Mr. Mazza’s blood alcohol concentration was .135, well in excess of the statutory per se limit of impairment of .08.
“Given the dramatically different factual circumstances as they are known at this time, Mr. Zhukovskyy respectfully requests an evidentiary hearing on the continuing need for preventative detention.
“Mr. Zhukovskyy would not present a danger to himself or other and concerns about appearance for trial could be addressed through appropriate measures including living with his parents where he returned and remained after the accident, surrendering his passport, and not operating a motor vehicle while on bail.”.
As of March 31 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Times. prosecutors had not filed a reply to the motion.