The driver of a pickup involved in a crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire has been arrested and faces seven counts of negligent homicide, officials said Monday.
A news release from Deputy Attorney General Jane E. Young’s office says that Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, was arrested at his home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and taken into custody on a “fugitive from justice” charge.
He pleaded not guilty to that charge at an arraignment Monday in Springfield District Court.
Zhukovskyy could also be charged with possessing illegal narcotics, Massachusetts State Police said; the agency’s lab is testing wax packets containing suspicious residue that were recovered from his home.
Zhukovskyy will be taken to New Hampshire on Monday night or Tuesday morning, according to his attorney Donald W. Frank.
He’ll be arraigned in Coos County Superior Court in New Hampshire at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on the negligent homicide charges, Assistant County Attorney Jessica Cain said.
Seven motorcyclists were killed and three others injured on Friday when they hit Zhukovskyy’s truck, which was going the opposite direction, police said.
Among the victims were members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, including some Marine veterans and their spouses.
Zhukovskyy was working as a driver for a transportation company based in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the time of the accident and was the sole occupant of the pickup, Coos County Attorney John McCormick said Saturday.
Dartanyan Gasanov is the principal of Westfield Transport Inc., according to licensing records. Gasanov said the wreck occurred during Zhukovskyy’s second trip with the company, on the third day of his 30-day trial period.
“It’s a huge tragedy. It’s really hard to talk now. … He came out of nowhere and ruined my life. I’ve never experienced anything like that,” he said, adding that he extends his condolences to the grieving families.
State police collision analysis and reconstruction teams are investigating the crash, along with local police, the Coos County Attorney’s Office and the National Transportation Safety Board.