The 23-year-old man charged with seven counts of vehicular homicide after he collided with a group of motorcyclists in Lancaster, N.H., has an even more troubling arrest record than previously thought, with drug charges and traffic incidents spanning at least six states, according to new reports.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, Massachusetts, is accused of crossing a double-yellow line on a rural highway with his truck and trailer and colliding with a group of bikers from Marine Jarheads MC, a motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses. He was driving for a Massachusetts truck hauling company.
The tragedy has sparked outrage: How could a man with such a checkered past possibly still have a license to drive commercial vehicles?
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has admitted his license should have been revoked following a drunken-driving incident last month in Connecticut, resulting in the resignation of the registry’s top official.
And yet there were several more incidents involving drugs and traffic infractions leading up to the devastating accident.
Here’s what we know – and are still asking – about Zhukovskyy, who has pleaded not guilty to charges as new details into his past continued to emerge:
Involved in rollover crash this month
Zhukovskyy was involved in a June 3 rollover crash in Baytown, Texas, near Houston. He was driving a truck hauling five cars on Interstate 10 when he flipped the rig onto its side.
WCVB-TV reported that Zhukovskyy told police he was trying to avoid a car that had swerved in front of him. He was driving a red Mack truck car hauler with a Massachusetts registration.
Police said there were no injuries in the accident, no signs of intoxication and no citations reported, according to the television station.
Arrested in Texas with crack pipe in possession
Also in Baytown, Texas, police on Feb. 11 responded to a 2 a.m. call of a disorderly customer at a Denny’s restaurant. In video captured by a body-worn police camera released this week, Zhukovskyy is in constant motion and wailing his arms.
“I’m sorry guys. I’m just tired,” Zhukovskyy says. “I need to go to sleep.”
Police asked whether he was on drugs. He denied being on drugs but police arrested him for possession of drug paraphernalia after they found a drug pipe on him.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Joey Garrison