CONCORD, NH (AP) — A jury on Tuesday acquitted a business truck driver of inflicting the deaths of seven motorcyclists in a horrific head-on crash in northern New Hampshire that uncovered deadly flaws in processing license revocations throughout state.
Jo-Ann Corr, 58, and Edward Corr had been Lakeville residents. They had been each killed.
Volodymyr Zikovskyy, 26, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was discovered not responsible on seven counts of involuntary manslaughter. Seven counts of negligent homicide and one depend of reckless conduct in reference to the Randolph crash on June 21, 2019. After being behind bars because the crash, he briefly raised his index finger within the air and wiped away tears as he stated the decision.
The jury deliberated for lower than three hours after a two-week trial throughout which prosecutors argued that Zhukovskyy, who had used heroin, fentanyl and cocaine on the day of the crash, repeatedly swerved forwards and backwards earlier than the crash and informed police he brought on it. . The choose dropped eight disability-related fees. His attorneys attributed Albert as a sufferer. “Woody” Mazza Jr., saying he was drunk and never wanting the place he was going when he misplaced management of his bike and skidded in entrance of Zhukovskyy’s truck.
“Our hearts exit to the victims and their households. Our trial crew did a superb job and we firmly imagine the State proved their case past an affordable doubt,” New Hampshire Lawyer Basic John Formella stated in an announcement.
Zhukovskyy’s household, a few of whom attended the trial, stated in an announcement that they had been grateful to God, the court docket and the protection attorneys for an “trustworthy and truthful trial.”
“Our household expresses its deepest condolences to the household and buddies affected by this tragedy,” the household stated, describing him as a “very trustworthy and type man. He would by no means have performed something to harm anybody.”
Zhukovskyy was born within the Ukraine and was nonetheless in detention as of Tuesday afternoon. It’s unknown when he will likely be launched. After the accident, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement positioned him beneath an immigration detainer. This was executed after the decision, in response to Ben Champagne, the superintendent of the Coos County Division of Corrections.
ICE acknowledged that Zhukovskyy had acquired a discover to look earlier than an immigration choose. Zhukovskyy will stay in ICE custody pending his final result. He didn’t specify the place he was being held.
Members of the Jarheads Motorbike Membership had been liable for the seven motorcyclists who died. A member of the Marine group reached out through Fb to say no to remark after the decision. Albert Mazza, Mazza’s father, stated he too was shocked.
“He kills seven folks and runs away. That is unbelievable,” Mazza stated. Mazza described his son’s character as “a…” “good man.” He was a beneficiant man who devoted a lot of his time to charity and stated it was incorrect to be blamed.
“It would not make a lot sense,” he stated. “There are seven useless folks. There are seven households affected. It is unusual that he did not get one thing.”
The motorcyclists who died had been from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They had been between 42 and 62 years outdated. They had been half of a bigger group, had simply left a Randolph motel alongside US Route 2 and had simply returned.
Mazza, from Lee, New Hampshire, Edward and Jo-Ann Corr, a married couple from Lakeville Massachusetts, Michael Ferazzi and Desma Oakes, all from Contoocook New Hampshire, Daniel Pereira and Aaron Perry, all from Farmington, New Hampshire.
In closing statements Tuesday morning, each side raised questions on who was extra. “far and wide”: The trucker was accused of abruptly crossing the highway. Or eyewitnesses had been accused of contradicting one another.
“These witnesses had been far and wide about what they remembered and what they stated they noticed,” Jay Duguay is a protection legal professional.
Duguay additionally accused prosecutors of not realizing that his personal accident reconstruction unit disproved his idea that Zhukovskyy had crossed into oncoming lanes. An professional employed by the protection, in the meantime, testified that the crash occurred on the axis of the highway and would have occurred even when the truck was in the midst of its lane as a result of Mazza’s bike was heading in that course.
“For the reason that starting of this investigation, the state had decided about what had occurred, to hell with the proof,” stated Duguay, who additionally pointed to inconsistencies between witness accounts and witnesses contradicting one another.
Duguay, particularly, recommended that the cyclists “shadowed” their accounts had been opened to guard Mazza et al. Scott Chase, the prosecutor, acknowledged that there have been inconsistencies however requested the jury for his reminiscence.
“Individuals had been masking the useless, attempting to avoid wasting the hardly alive, comforting the dying. This was not story time,” she stated. “They had been up right here speaking about a number of the most unimaginable chaos, trauma, demise and carnage that we will think about three years later. They had been speaking about hell opening up.”
He claimed that witnesses had been constant in describing how the truck was shifting forwards and backwards earlier than the accident. The identical habits was noticed throughout the remainder of the incident. “Till he killed folks,” Chase stated.
“That is what stopped him. It is not like he made any accountable choice to begin paying consideration or doing the proper factor,” he stated. “The one factor that stopped him was an embankment after he went by way of a bunch of bikes.”
Chase referred to as the try to border Mazza a “terrorist assault.” “Improbable story”, “frivolous distraction”, as he reminded the jury that Zhukovskyy, who didn’t testify at trial, informed investigators: “Clearly I brought on the accident”.
“It was very clear from the start that he brought on this accident,” Chase stated. “That is what he stated, as a result of that is what occurred.”
Zhukovskyy’s business driver’s license ought to have been revoked in Massachusetts on the time of the accident as a result of a Connecticut drunk driving arrest about two months earlier.
Connecticut officers alerted authorities on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Autos, however Zhukovskyy’s license was not suspended as a result of a backlog of out-of-state notifications of site visitors violations. Federal investigators discovered comparable backlog points in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, in addition to at the least six different jurisdictions.
—Holly Ramer, Related Press. This report was written by AP writers Michael Casey and Kathy McCormack.