'It was just an explosion': Trucker in horrific motorcycle crash faces arraignment as more details emerge

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New Hampshire police said seven people were killed and three injured Friday when a pickup truck collided with several motorcycles on a two-lane road. Wochit

A pickup driver accused of slamming into a group of motorcycles faces arraignment Tuesday in New Hampshire on seven counts of negligent homicide as chilling details emerged from last week’s crash and the man blamed for the carnage.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, was arrested at his Massachusetts home Monday and brought before a judge for a brief court appearance. He waived extradition and was transported to New Hampshire for arraignment Tuesday in the Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster.

A group of 22 riders on 15 motorcycles had just finished dinner and were heading to a nearby veterans fundraiser. They were members of Marine Jarheads MC, a motorcycle club in New England that includes Marines and their spouses.

Police say a 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup, towing a trailer that hauls cars, collided with the group in the rural town of Randolph, 100 miles north of Concord. JarHeads president Manny Ribeiro said he was riding on a motorcycle next to Al Mazza, one of those hit by the truck.

“It was just an explosion … with parts and Al and everything flying through the air,” Ribeiro said. “He (Zhukovskyy) turned hard left into us and took out pretty much everyone behind me. … Because the trailer was attached and it was such a big trailer, it was like a whip. It just cleaned us out.”

Ribeiro told a local CBS-TV station he and his fellow riders started tying tourniquets, hoping to save the lives of their fellow riders.

“This is far worse than anything I’ve ever experienced,” Ribeiro said. “It was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. It was awful.”

Ribeiro said Zhukovskyy got out of his pickup and was screaming and running around in the road before being taken into custody. He was questioned but released.

Zhukovskyy was arrested for drunken driving in 2013 and had his license suspended. And authorities in Connecticut say he was arrested May 11 in an East Windsor Walmart parking lot after revving his vehicle and failing a sobriety test. His lawyer in that case, John O’Brien, said Zhukovskyy will fight the charge.

Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicate that the company Zhukovskyy was driving for, Westfield Transport, has been cited for various violations in the last two years, MassLive.com reported.

There were two instances where drivers were in possession of narcotic drugs. Other violations including a driver without a commercial driver’s license, one for speeding and another for defective brakes.

The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Contributing: Mike James

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