He had a documented history of DUIs, traffic, and drug violations across state lines.
As journalists dig deeper into alleged killer trucker Volodymyr Zhukovskyy's short past on the road, more and more disturbing details become clear. Last week, the 23-year-old was arrested and charged with seven counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of seven members of the Jarhead Motorcycle Club. Now, additional puzzle pieces are emerging that create a picture of a driver who clearly should not have been behind the wheel of any vehicle, commercial or otherwise.
While Zhukovskyy has had a driver’s license in Massachusetts since 2013, he has only had a commercial driver’s license since 2018, reported the Boston Globe. States do currently communicate with each other about commercial truck drivers and traffic violations. Out of the 35 states the Globe contacted, 5 additional states besides New Hampshire have past arrest records for Zhukovskyy. These include Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas. Also, there's at least one major incident that did not result in charges, but that is undeniably alarming when taken in context with the rest of his record. Here's a timeline of what we know so far:
- In June 2013, Zhukovskyy was charged with a DUI in Westfield, MA and had his license suspended as “an immediate threat,” per WCVB. That’s also the same terminology used for how his license was suspended after this deadly motorcycle accident.
- In 2014, Zhukovskyy pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license, speeding, providing false information, and possession of drug paraphernalia in Ohio. His Massachusetts license was suspended at the time, per the Boston Globe. Officials there made a note to notify Massachusetts officials about his citations in their state, but it doesn’t appear that this communication occurred. His MA record does mention a 2016 Ohio incident but gives no details about it.
- Zhukovskyy sought help for alcohol, cocaine, and heroin problems about two years ago via a faith-based residential rehabilitation facility in Bristol, PA. He stayed there for three months, according to the Globe.
- On February 11, 2019, Baytown, Texas officers—the same town where the rollover in June later occurred—arrested Zhukovskyy at a Denny’s around 2am after reports came in about an intoxicated person. Police found him acting extremely intoxicated, and with a crack pipe in his possession for which he was arrested. At the time, he received a deferment with probation that would allow him to not have a conviction on his record as long as he behaved. That probationary period lasted until June 14, just one week before the deadly New Hampshire crash that killed seven motorcyclists. Zhukovskyy paid just $297 in court costs, WCVB reported. Full video from the arrest has been made public.
- On February 18, 2019, Zhukovskyy was arrested in Iowa for improper lane usage and failure to comply with safety regulations. He paid a fine and drove away.
- On May 11, 2019, Zhukovskyy was arrested in East Windsor, CT for a DUI. He posted bail, was released, and scheduled for arraignment on June 26 according to WCVB.
- On May 29, 2019, Connecticut notified Massachusetts about the May 11 arrest.
- It's worth noting here that Massachusetts—the state where Zhukovskyy's license was issued—and Connecticut blame each other for Zhukovskyy’s license not being suspended after his May 2019 arrest, reported the Boston Globe. Massachusetts claimed that Connecticut “failed to provide sufficient information” regarding his arrest there, while Connecticut claimed that it did what it was supposed to do. Massachusetts took responsibility for not manually reviewing and then suspending his license, which led to Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney resigning her post last week.
- On June 3, Zhukovskyy had a rollover crash in Texas while driving red Mack truck car hauler with Massachussetts registration. He flipped that truck on Interstate 10, after which he claimed that a car had swerved in front of him. Police couldn’t locate that car, but also found no signs of intoxication and issued no citations, according to Boston news station WCVB.
- At the time of the Texas incidents—both in Baytown and flipping that truck on I-10— Zhukovskyy drove for a trucking company called FBI Express, Inc. That company fired him after the truck flipping incident and told WCVB that it was not aware of the February intoxication arrest.
- Also, at the time of Zhukovskyy’s arrest Monday for the fatal New Hampshire motorcycle accident, police found “wax packets containing a residue suspected of being heroin” inside his home. Further tests are being conducted, and Zhukovskyy will face additional charges if those suspicions turn out to be based in facts, according to WCVB.
- In light of all of these facts, later today, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack plan to outline the RMV's plans for improvement.