BOSTON (CBS) – Police arrested the pickup truck driver who allegedly caused a Randolph, N.H. crash that killed seven motorcyclists. New Hampshire State Police announced that 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy is charged with seven counts of negligent homicide.
Investigators say Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, was driving a pickup truck towing a trailer when he collided with a group of 10 motorcyclists on Friday. Zhukovskyy is an employee of Westfield Transportation in Springfield.
According to Zhukovskyy’s driving record, he was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Connecticut on May 11. Zhukovskyy was charged with operating under the influence in 2013 and his license was suspended because he was listed as an “immediate threat.”
Zhukovskyy was taken into custody on a fugitive from justice charge at his home in West Springfield on Monday. During his arraignment in Springfield District Court, Zhukovskyy waived extradition and was taken into custody by New Hampshire Police.
A plea of not guilty was entered on Zhukovskyy’s behalf for the fugitive from justice charge. He is expected to be arraigned in New Hampshire Tuesday afternoon.
Donald Frank, Zhukovskyy’s defense attorney, called the incident “a tragedy for all.”
“It’s tragic for the families involved. It’s tragic for the victims in this. It’s tragic for his family too,” said Frank. “I’m not trying to equate that they’re all the same, I’m making no such suggestion. I’m hoping everyone would be respectful towards the people who died in this case, and respectful for what he has to go through too.”
“He’s only 23 years old, he’s a high school graduate. He’s on a soccer team,” Frank continued. “He seems like a good guy who’s involved in a terrible negligent, as I read the complaint, negligent incident.”
Massachusetts State Police found wax packets at Zhukovskyy’s house containing residue that is believed to be heroin. He has not been charged on a drug offense, but if lab tests are positive for narcotics, Zhukovskyy will face an additional charge.
Joanne and Edward Corr, both of Lakeville, died in the crash. Michael Ferazzi of Contoocook, N.H., Albert Mazza of Lee, N.H., Daniel Pereira of Riverside R.I., Desma Oakes of Concord, N.H., and Aaron Perry of Farmington, N.H. also died.
The motorcyclists were with Marine JarHeads MC, a motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses.
Jarheads MC local chapter president Manny Ribeiro said the crash was worse than anything he has seen in combat as a Marine.
Zhukovskyy’s attorney said he would not comment about if his client was remorseful following the crash.
“I’m not talking about what he told me. I can’t do that,” Frank said.