And now he just might be deported.
The 23-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who was allegedly behind the wheel of a Dodge pickup truck that collided with a group of motorcyclists Friday in New Hampshire, leaving seven dead, has a long history of traffic-related arrests, including one just last month where he failed a sobriety arrest, according to Fox News.
But he not only never appeared to be threatened with removal from the country, he even had his driver’s license — one that should have been suspended at the time of the crash.
According to CNN, the crash took place around 6:30 p.m. Friday on Route 2 in Randolph, New Hampshire.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was allegedly at the wheel of the pickup, towing a flatbed. Coming at him from the opposite direction was a group of motorcyclists, members of a club called the Marine JarHeads, made up mainly of Marine veterans and their spouses.
Zhukovskyy was driving erratically, according to Fox, when he crossed the center line and collided with the oncoming motorcycles. Five men, all believed to be Marine vets, and two women were killed.
Motorcyclists and military veterans mourn seven members of a motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses who were killed in a highway crash. https://t.co/aqPaBCKQzZ
— ABC News (@ABC) June 23, 2019
According to The Associated Press, Manny Ribeiro, president of the motorcycle club, said the group had 21 riders on 15 bikes. They were heading to a fundraiser at a nearby American Legion post, he said.
Zhukovskyy faces seven charges of negligent homicide in connection with the crash, according to Fox. But it wasn’t his first run-in with the law.
In May, he was charged in Connecticut with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and released on $2,500 bail, MassLive reported.
According to Fox, that arrest should have been enough to get his Massachusetts driver’s license suspended.
On Tuesday, Erin Deveney, the head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, resigned over the issue.
Deveney’s department had been informed of the arrest by Connecticut authorities, but still took no action to get Zhukovskyy off the road.
A report in Boston Magazine, citing The Boston Globe, stated that Zhukovskyy also received a 90-day suspended sentence in 2015 for larceny. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and was fined $200.
Meanwhile, according to the AP, police in Texas reported that Zhukovskyy had crashed a tractor-trailer in the Houston suburbs earlier this month.
He told police that he’d been cut off. He wasn’t charged in the incident and did not appear to be intoxicated, MassLive reported.
According to Fox, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed a detainer request against Zhukovskyy, which means he could be deported back to the Ukraine when he’s finished with the legal process in relation to the crash.
(The penalty for negligent homicide in New Hampshire is seven years in prison, if the offender was not under the influence at the time of the fatal crash.)
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s pickup truck, towing a flatbed trailer, collided with a group of 10 motorcycles ridden by members or supporters of a Marine motorcycle club, investigators said. https://t.co/jhT30PqNiX
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) June 25, 2019
There’s no way of knowing what any human being is going to do over the course of a lifetime, of course.
But from the information that’s become public since Friday’s fatal crash, it’s pretty clear that Zhukovskyy wasn’t exactly covering himself with glory in his adopted country.
That apparently didn’t stop him from getting permanent residency.
Fox News, citing the Boston Herald, noted that Zhukovskyy’s father said Zhukovskyy had just gotten his green card.
(If that’s true, it’s another aspect of the country’s immigration system that could bear looking into.)
So maybe no one can predict the future, but even bureaucrats should be able to recognize what happened in the past — and it’s telling that the bureaucracy couldn’t even suspend Zhukovskyy’s license after an arrest last month for allegedly driving under the influence.
The directors of the Massachusetts RMV has resigned over it, but that’s not going to bring back five dead Marine vets or the women who died with them.
But at least the guy accused of killing them might finally be deported someday.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.