Crash Survivors Walk Out of Zhukovskyy License Hearing

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Jarhead crash survivor Manny Rivero testifies Wednesday against Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s request for license reinstatement at a hearing held in the Department of Motor Vehicles auditorium in Concord.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, bottom right, appears via video for his license reinstatement hearing Wednesday. Top left is his attorney Earle Wingate III and top right is Department of Safety attorney David Hilts. Unknown viewer in the bottom left screen.. Damien Fisher photo


CONCORD – Survivors of the 2019 crash that took the lives of seven motorcyclists walked out of the Department of Motor Vehicles auditorium Wednesday in disgust during Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s license suspension hearing.

Zhukovskyy, 28, is trying to get his New Hampshire driving privileges reinstated five years after the crash, and two years after he was found not guilty at trial of causing the seven deaths. Zhukovskyy admitted to police after the crash he had used cocaine and heroin laced with fentanyl before getting behind the wheel of his truck, and several hours before the fatal crash. story about jury’s verdict in 2022 here:

Last month, Administrative Law Judge Ryan McFarland of the Bureau of Hearings ruled Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s “unlawful operation materially contributed to” to the fatal crash. 

The walk-out happened when Earle Wingate III, truck driver Zhukovskyy’s attorney, asked for a moment of silence for the crash victims. After the hearing, some told they found Wingate’s performative empathy offensive.

Both Wingate and Zhukovskyy appeared via video feed for the hearing. 

Dawn Brindley, who was in the Jarhead convoy that collided with Zhukovskyy’s truck, shook when she testified about the crash. The first five Jarhead motorcycles were involved in the collision. Brindley was the number six motorcycle.

“I remember seeing pieces of my friends scattered on the road,” Brindley said. “You killed five Marine veterans and two spouses due to your negligent behavior and decisions that day.”

Killed in the crash were Albert Mazza, 59, of Lee, Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook; Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island; Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, Mass.; Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord; and Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington.

Those who walked out included Manny Rivero, one of the surviving riders who testified his life was forever altered when Zhukovskyy’s truck collided with members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club on June 21, 2019 in Randolph. 

Rivero said he’s never seen such a violent scene as the crash on Route 2, and he blames Zhukovskyy for that violence even if the jury did not agree.

“This was no accident, this was a history here,” Rivero said.

Several survivors reminded McFarland that Zhukovskyy had a history of drug abuse and impaired driving before the 2019 crash.

David Bark, another former Jarhead and Marine veteran, told McFarland he never experienced that much violence or lost as many comrades in such a short period of time. Bark told McFarland Zhukovskyy does not deserve the privilege of driving in New Hampshire ever again.

“If he does get his license back and kills someone else, at least I could say to myself at least I did what I was supposed to do,” Bark said.

Brittany Mazza, daughter of lead Jarhead rider Albert “Woody” Mazza, acknowledged what happened was a terrible accident, but the type Zhukovskyy is prone to make due to his drug use.

“It was an accident, but he’s had a lot of accidents,” Mazza said.

Mazza faulted Zhukovskyy’s lack of remorse.

“We’ve yet to hear an apology. But he had the audacity to say if they were wearing helmets they would have survived,” Mazza said.

Zhukovskyy did offer an apology when it was his turn to speak, but the survivors seemed unmoved and more walked out as he spoke.

“This accident has drastically affected me. I want to extend my deepest condolences,” Zhukovskyy said.

Zhukovskyy testified that since the day of the accident he’s been clean and sober, and does not even smoke anymore. His license was suspended in New Hampshire the day after the accident. Zhukovskyy is asking to get the suspension lifted so that he can begin the process of getting his license reinstated in his home state of Massachusetts. He is not seeking a commercial license reinstatement.

The state wants McFarland to impose the maximum allowable suspension of seven years.

“If I could ask for longer I certainly would,” said David Hilts, an attorney for the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

During the hearing, Wingate asked McFarland why he did not find Albert “Woody” Mazza responsible for the accident in any way. McFarland told Wingate he was free to bring that up in a court appeal if he chooses to pursue one.

“I issued my order based on my review of the evidence,” McFarland said.

At trial, Zhukovskyy’s lawyers argued that he was not impaired at the time of the crash and only trace amounts of the drugs were found in his blood. Instead, the defense pointed to lead motorcyclist Albert “Woody” Mazza who had a blood alcohol of .135 at the time, well over the legal limit of .08, and told jurors Albert “Woody” Mazza crossed the centerline, causing the catastrophic collision.

McFarland is expected to issue his order in the coming weeks.

Zhukovskyy is Ukrainian, though he’s lived in the United States most of his life. He was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately after his acquittal.

Zhukovskyy’s request for asylum was denied and on Feb. 3, 2023, an immigration judge ordered him deported, but deportations to Ukraine have been suspended because of the armed conflict there with Russia. Zhukovskyy was released from custody under an Order of Supervision issued in April 2023.

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