They’ve got him!

Police are calling him a fugitive from justice.

And people across America are demanding that justice be served after the tragic deaths of seven Marines on Friday.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy

 

Volodoymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, from West Springfield, Massachusetts was the truck driver accused in the deadly crash that happened on Friday.  He appeared in court on Monday.  And we’re learning tonight that, according to police, he has a history of drunk driving.

This, after the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office said that Zhukovskyy was arrested Monday morning at his West Springfield home.

One of the charges?  A fugitive from justice charge.

“That charge is based on an arrest warrant that had been issued on June 24, 2019, charging him with seven counts of negligent homicide,” the A.G.’s office said in a statement.
 
On top of that, Massachusetts State Police found wax packets at Zhukovskyy’s house.  They contain residue that is believed to be heroin.  While he hasn’t been charged on a drug offense, that will change if lab tests are positive for narcotics.

Now he’ll have to be extradited to New Hampshire to face the charges against him, according to New Hampshire State Police.

Police say  on Friday night, Zhukovskyy was driving a 2016 Dodge 2500 on Route 2 in Randolph, New Hampshire.  It was towing a trailer used to haul cars.


 

They said he was driving westbound when he crashed into a group of motorcycles driving in the opposite direction.  Police do not know why he crossed the center of line.

When emergency crews arrived, the pickup truck was on fire and onlookers had rushed in to try and help the drivers who were thrown all over the road.

 

Seven people were killed.  New Hampshire State Police identified the victims:

  • Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, NH
  • Albert Mazza Jr., 59, of Lee, NH
  • Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, NH
  • Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, NH
  • Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, RI
  • Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, MA

 

Two of the people hurt in the crash – Joshua Morin of Dalton and Steven Lewis of Brimfield- were from western Massachusetts.

Mortin is still in the hospital, while Lewis was treated and released.

The tragic accident involved members of a motorcycle club in New England that includes marines and their spouses.  It’s called Marine Jarheads MC.

According to police records, Zhukovskyy was arrested on drunken driving charges last month.  He was ALSO arrested on drunken driving charges in 2013.  And in 2012, he was involved in an accident.

Despite the fact that he was charged with on OUI last month, he was driving for Westfield Transport at the time of the crash.  

Those records show police in East Windsor, Connecticut stopped him on May 11 of this year, and that he was also arrested for drunken driving in 2013 in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Witnesses of Friday’s crash described it as an absolutely “devastating” scene.

“It’s tragic,” New Hampshire State Police Capt. Chris Vetter told reporters during a late news conference. “It’s tragic for those involved, tragic for the families, so we’re doing our job, we’re doing our work, and our thoughts are with the people who were adversely affected by this.”

Large parts of the rural two-lane highway were closed overnight as investigators comb the scene for clues about what caused the crash.

The town of Randolph is about a two-hour drive north of Concord, the capital, and a three-hour drive from Boston.

“There was debris everywhere,” said Miranda Thompson, 21, of Manchester, who was several cars back and recalled seeing a truck in flames on the side of the highway and six motorcycles.

Other drivers pulled over and tried to help the wounded.

“People were in the grass. There were people putting tourniquets on people, trying to make sure they didn’t move,” she said. “You could tell people were lost who it happened too … It was a sad day for all of them.”

Jerry Hamanne is the co-owner of a nearby bed-and-breakfast that was hosting one of the bikers in the group.  Hamanne said he and a doctor also staying at his inn rushed to the scene to help.

He said many others tried to help as well, but some people were already dead.

“It was so devastating to see the bodies on the road,” Hamanne said. “My God, I don’t want to see something like this again.”

The accident happened only 500 feet from one of the locations where most of the motorcyclists were staying, Hamanne said.

 

Charlie St. Clair is the executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, which hosts one of the state’s biggest rallies in June.

St. Clair said he couldn’t recall an accident like this ever before involving bikers in the state.

He said he wasn’t on the scene, but spent the night fielding calls.

That’s when he heard the riders were mostly Marine veterans who belonged to the same motorcycle club.

“This is staggering and it’s tragic beyond description,” St. Clair said. “You have a bunch of people out for a ride enjoying one of the first nice days we had. To have this happen, it defies logic quite frankly.”

Miranda Thompson was only a few cars behind the accident and told local she saw “motorcycles dumped all over the road.”

“You could see people on the phone frantically calling, people pacing back and forth and just, they were lost,” she said.  ”Everybody got out of their car and helped, got blankets and first-aid kits. Everyone went into action and just helped.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu took to Twitter with his condolences.

 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and first responders who answered the call. State officials are on the scene and assisting as the situation develops,” he wrote on Twitter.

He said he and his wife are praying.

“Valerie & I are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic motor accident that occurred in Randolph tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, & first responders who answered the call. State officials are on the scene & assisting as the situation develops.”

An online fundraising page has been set up to help with funeral costs and has already raised more than $330,000.

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