RANDOLPH — With two drunken driving arrests and a rollover accident three week earlier, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy should not have been driving on Route 2 last Friday night, and a Massachusetts official has resigned over not pulling his license.
In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer on Zhukovskyy, who is originally from Ukraine. That means that if he is released from police custody, he would be deported back to his country of birth.
Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, Mass., was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide for driving erratically after allegedly crossing the double yellow center line on the rural road and striking a group of motorcyclists, killing seven and injuring three.
He was driving a 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup and pulling a flatbed trailer for his employer, Westfield Transport. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held in preventive detention at the Coos County jail.
Public Defender Melissa Lynn Davis is representing Zhukovskyy. A jury trial has been scheduled in November at Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster.
Killed as a result of the collision were Albert Mazza, 59, of Lee; Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, R.I.; Michael Ferrazi, 62, of Contoocook; Aaron Perry, 45, of Lee; Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord; and Edward and Joanne Corr, both 58 of Lakeview, Mass. Most were belonged to a group of Marine Corps veterans, the Jarheads MC.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said Zhukovskyy’s most recent arrest, on May 11 in Windsor, Conn., should have resulted in automatic termination of his commercial driving license.
Zhukovskyy refused to take a chemical test, and his lawyer said he denies being intoxicated.
Pollack said the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles “had not acted on information provided by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles about a May 11 incident that should have triggered termination of this individual’s commercial driver’s license.”
She said the toll on the families of the victims, many of whom she noted had served this country, “is impossible to comprehend.”
She said she accepted the resignation of Registry of Motor Vehicles head Erin Deveney on Tuesday night.
The 23-year old was also arrested on a drunken driving charge in Massachusetts in 2013 while a minor. He lost his license for 210 days and was placed on probation for a year.
Channel 5 in Boston reported Zhukovsky was involved in a rollover on Interstate 10 in Baytown, Texas, just three weeks ago. He was driving an 18-wheeler car hauler when he told police a car swerved in front of him and he flipped the truck. There were no charges stemming from the accident. He was driving for FBI Express Inc., a West Springfield, Mass company.
Last Friday, he was on his second trip for a different West Springfield, Mass., company, Westfield Transport.
In February, Zhukovskyy was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after police were called at 2 a.m. to a restaurant in Baytown. He was described as appearing intoxicated. He was placed on probation, which ended June 14 and the charge was dismissed that day.
Massachusetts State Police also reported that when they arrested him at his home in West Springfield Monday, they found wax packets at his residence containing what authorities believe is heroin. The Boston Globe reports Zhukovskyy pleaded guilty to drug possession in January 2017, after his wallet, containing heroin and cocaine, was found.