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Truck driver involved in fatal accident found negligent when returning driver’s license

A truck driver previously acquitted for his role in a horrific 2019 crash in Northern New Hampshire has been found to have been a contributing factor in the collision as part of his appeal to have his driving privileges reinstated.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy admitted to using cocaine and heroin the morning of the crash that killed seven motorcyclists, all members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, which also includes U.S. Marines and family members from across New England.

Last September, Zhukovskyy filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles for the return of his driving privileges, which have been suspended since the crash. Earlier this month, he testified at an administrative hearing and said he was not responsible for the collision.

In an 11-page order released Thursday, Ryan McFarland, a hearing officer who presided over the case, found that Zhukovskyy “acted in a negligent manner that was unlawful and caused or materially contributed to the accident.”

Regarding Zhukovskyy’s drug use, McFarland determined that “although there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that (he) was impaired at the time of the accident, there is a reasonable inference that (he) was likely as a result of his drug use.”

A second hearing will now take place to determine Zhukovskyy’s punishment for his contribution to the collision. State regulators are seeking to suspend his driving privileges for another seven years.

According to accident reconstruction experts, the accident occurred on Route 2 in the town of Randolph, at or near the double yellow line. Witnesses at Zhukovskyy’s 2022 trial in Coos County testified that they saw Zhukovskyy, who was driving a pickup truck towing an empty car carrier, driving erratically leading up to the crash.

The lead motorcyclist, Al Mazza, was drunk at the time of the collision, a blood analysis showed.

Just weeks before the fatal crash, Zhukovskyy was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Connecticut.

The Associated Press reports that Zhukovskyy, a Ukrainian national, has been ordered deported, but his removal from the country has been suspended due to the ongoing war.

Zhukovskyy appeared remotely at his first administrative hearing, as the state argued it could not guarantee his safety if he appeared in person.

No date has been announced for his disciplinary hearing. Family members of the crash victims are expected to testify.

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