Truck driver in horrific crash that killed 7 motorcyclists was on medication: report

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CONCORD, N.H. — The motive force concerned in a crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire was below the affect of medicine and reached for a beverage simply earlier than the collision, in line with a federal inspection report obtained Thursday.

The Federal Motor Provider Security Administration stated {that a} toxicology report confirmed Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was constructive for an unspecified drug that made him incapable of driving safely when his pickup truck crossed the middle yellow line and crashed into motorcyclists.

Zhukovskyy additionally stated that he reached for a drink on the passenger aspect of the truck simply earlier than the crash, in line with the report. That violation was labeled as “inattentive driving.”

The findings have been a part of an inspection that additionally discovered that Zhukovskyy’s car had faulty lighting and was lacking some wheel fasteners.

The Boston Globe first reported on the company’s findings.

Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, has pleaded not responsible to negligent murder within the crash. The seven who died have been members of the Jarheads Bike Membership, a New England group that features Marines and their spouses.

A cellphone message searching for remark was left with a lawyer for Zhukovskyy. A spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Lawyer Basic’s Workplace stated the workplace couldn’t touch upon the report, citing the continued investigation and prosecution.

A spokesman for the Nationwide Transportation Security Board stated it was within the early phases of the investigation, which would come with the motive force’s medical and behavioral well being historical past and couldn’t touch upon one other company’s report.

Because the crash, it has emerged that Zhukovskyy had a number of run-ins with the regulation.

In Might, Connecticut prosecutors stated Zhukovskyy was arrested in a Walmart car parking zone after failing a sobriety take a look at. Zhukovskyy’s lawyer in that case, John O’Brien, stated he denies being intoxicated and can battle the cost.

Connecticut officers twice alerted Massachusetts about an earlier drunken driving arrest. Massachusetts investigators later decided the Registry of Motor Autos hadn’t been performing on hundreds of out-of-state notifications about severe driving violations.

Additionally, police in Texas informed a number of media shops that Zhukovskyy additionally crashed a tractor trailer in suburban Houston in June. Zhukovskyy informed police that he had been reduce off, inflicting him to lose management of the truck. He was not charged.

Zhukovskyy was additionally arrested on a drunken driving cost in 2013 in Westfield, Massachusetts, state data present. He was positioned on probation for one 12 months and had his license suspended for 210 days, The Westfield Information reported.

The Massachusetts firm that Zhukovskyy was driving for on the day of June 21 crash additionally has a troubled historical past.

Based on an Related Press evaluation of Federal Motor Provider Security Administration knowledge, Westfield Transport Inc. confronted over 60 violations over the past 24 months.

About one in 5 inspections of its autos ended with federal investigators issuing non permanent orders saying the provider was not approved to function. The corporate’s out-of-service fee is 20.8% — a determine practically 4 occasions higher than the nationwide common of 5.5%.

Federal data present the corporate has confronted seven violations for unsafe driving, together with dashing. The corporate additionally confronted two violations in March 2018, reported in Massachusetts and Vermont, of drivers who have been in possession of a narcotic drug or amphetamine.

An individual answering the cellphone at Westfield Transport, who didn’t establish himself, would solely say the corporate now not exists and that he needed to precise condolences to the victims. He didn’t wish to remark additional and hung up the cellphone.