Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:07 PM Truck driver acquitted of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in horrific ... trends now

Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:07 PM Truck driver acquitted of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in horrific ... trends now
Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:07 PM Truck driver acquitted of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in horrific ... trends now

Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:07 PM Truck driver acquitted of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in horrific ... trends now

The drugged-out truck driver who crossed the center line of a northern New Hampshire road, killing seven people on motorcycles, was found not guilty by a jury - a verdict that sparked 'shock' 'outrage' and 'anger' by the state's governor.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 26, a Ukrainian national who now faces deportation, was acquitted on Tuesday by a jury of seven counts of negligent homicide and reckless conduct after less than three hours of deliberation following a two-week trial.

The grateful and relieved truck driver wiped away tears, kissed his finger and pointed to the sky after he was cleared. 

He's been in jail since the June 21, 2019, crash in Randolph, New Hampshire, that killed seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, including six who were former Marine Corps soldiers.

The verdict prompted outrage by the survivors of the crash, the families of the dead bikers and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.

'The Fallen Seven did not receive justice today, and that is an absolute tragedy,' the Republican governor tweeted. 'I share the shock, outrage, and anger that so many have expressed in the three years since the seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club were taken from us.'

The father of the Albert 'Woody' Mazza Jr, 49, who was first in the convoy of bikers on the day of the crash, said he was in disbelief over the jury's decision.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 26, kissed his finger and pointed at the sky after he was acquitted on seven counts of negligent homicide

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 26, kissed his finger and pointed at the sky after he was acquitted on seven counts of negligent homicide

Truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy looks back at the gallery during close statements during his trial on seven counts of negligent homicide for the deaths of seven bikers in a road crash

Truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy looks back at the gallery during close statements during his trial on seven counts of negligent homicide for the deaths of seven bikers in a road crash

'Killing seven people and he gets off. That is unbelievable,' the father, who is also named Albert Mazza, said. He said his son was a 'good man' who devoted much of his time to charity.

'It doesn´t make much sense,' he said. 'There are seven people dead. There are seven families affected. It's strange that he didn´t get something.'

Prosecutors argued that Zhukovskyy - who had taken heroin, fentanyl and cocaine earlier on the day of the crash - repeatedly swerved back and forth before the collision and told police he caused it.

Federal crash investigators found that the truck driver was impaired by drugs and had swerved into the oncoming motorcycle convoy. 

The tragic incident occurred on Route 2 near the town of Randolph, New Hampshire shortly before 6.30pm on June 21, 2019. The pickup truck burst into flames after striking the bikers

The tragic incident occurred on Route 2 near the town of Randolph, New Hampshire shortly before 6.30pm on June 21, 2019. The pickup truck burst into flames after striking the bikers

But Judge Peter H. Bornstein dismissed eight charges related to whether he was impaired

The truck driver's lawyers blamed Mazza, saying he was drunk and not looking where he was going when he lost control of his motorcycle and slid in front of Zhukovskyy's vehicle.

'Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Our trial team did an excellent job and we firmly believe that the State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt,' New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said in a statement.

Zhukovskyy's family, some of whom attended the trial, said in a statement they were grateful to God, the court and the defense attorneys for an 'honest and fair trial.'

Family members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club wept after the truck driver on trial for the death of seven members was found not guilty

Family members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club wept after the truck driver on trial for the death of seven members was found not guilty

Jarheads Motorcycle Club family members console each other in the parking lot outside the Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster, NH after the verdict

Jarheads Motorcycle Club family members console each other in the parking lot outside the Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster, NH after the verdict

Victim Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island

Albert Mazza, 49, of Lee, New Hampshire, also died in the crash

The victims - including Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island (left), and Albert Mazza, 49, of Lee, New Hampshire (right) - were members or supporters of the Marine JarHeads

Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, New Hampshire, died during the crash

Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire, also died Friday night

Bikers Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, New Hampshire, and Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire, were also killed in the Friday night crash

Authorities identified the seven bikers who died in the Friday night crash with a pickup truck. Among the victims were Joanne and Edward Corr, both 58, (pictured) of Lakeville, Massachusetts

Authorities identified the seven bikers who died in the Friday night crash with a pickup truck. Among the victims were Joanne and Edward Corr, both 58, (pictured) of Lakeville, Massachusetts 

The Marine JarHeads is a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses. Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, was among the crash victims

The Marine JarHeads is a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses. Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, was among the crash victims

'Our family expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends affected by this tragedy,' the family said, describing him as a 'very honest and kind man. He would never have done anything to hurt anyone.'

Zhukovskyy remained jailed as of late Tuesday afternoon. It is unclear when he might be released. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued an immigration detainer on him after the crash and that was executed following the verdict, said Ben Champagne, the superintendent at the Coos County Department of Corrections.

Judge Peter Bornstein dismissed drug charges  before the trial

Judge Peter Bornstein dismissed drug charges  before the trial

ICE said in a statement that Zhukovskyy has been served a notice to appear before an immigration judge and will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of that appearance. It did not say where he is being held.

After the verdict, a member of the the motorcycle

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