West Springfield man found not guilty in deaths of 7 motorcyclists in New Hampshire

The jury’s verdict comes just a few hours after they began deliberations on Tuesday after hearing closing argument earlier in the day.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 2:57 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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(WGGB/WSHM) – A jury has found Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the West Springfield man accused of crashing into and killing seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire almost three years ago, not guilty.

After just over two hours of deliberations this afternoon, a jury found Zhukovskyy not guilty on all charges of manslaughter for all seven victims in the deadly crash in Randolph, NH in June 2019.

Zhukovskyy was visually emotional as the jury read off their verdicts in a New Hampshire courtroom on Tuesday. He was facing trial for the deaths of seven motorcyclists and was accused of traveling over the yellow line and that his truck and trailer crashed into them on June 21, 2019. He was originally accused of being impaired, but the judge dismissed those charges and asked the jury not to consider the testimony related to them.

During the trial, the defense suggested someone else might have been impaired that day: Albert Mazza, the lead rider of the Jarheads motorcycle group on the day of the crash, who died in the accident. The defense said his blood alcohol level was almost double the legal limit and they had experts testify he was the one to cause the crash.

“The answer to the question is clear. Albert Mazza was driving his motorcycle while drunk, wasn’t looking where he was going, he lost control of his bike, and slid into the oncoming truck,” said lead defense counsel Jay Q. Duguay.

The prosecution had eyewitnesses who testified that Zhukovskyy was swerving while driving, but not many people saw him actually over the yellow line at the point of impact. However, Joshua Morin, a rider from Dalton who survived the crash, testified he saw it happen.

“I seen a black vehicle veer into the lane, hitting Al Mazza,” Morin explained.

Prosecutors argued that Zhukovskyy had to have caused the crash based on all of the testimony.

“Every single eyewitness, including the man with the front row seat, told you exactly what happened, who caused this crash, who was driving reckless,” prosecutors said in court.

However, ultimately, the jury saw this crash through the defense’s point of view.

Zhukovskyy has waited for this verdict for three years because of a delay in the court system due to the COVID-19 pandemic.