Westfield Transport, Massachusetts company involved in New Hampshire crash that killed 7, has history of violations, federal records show
Updated Jun 25, 5:08 PM; Posted Jun 24, 2019
Gallery: Bikers bid goodbye to 7 motorcyclists killed in New Hampshire crash
By Melissa Hanson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal records indicate a Massachusetts company that employs a driver who was behind the wheel in a devastating crash in New Hampshire, which left seven people dead, has a history of violations.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, was driving a black 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup truck with an attached trailer designed for carrying cars in Randolph, New Hampshire, on Friday when the truck slammed into a group of 10 motorcycles, killing seven people, including a Massachusetts couple.
On Monday morning, Zhukovskyy was arrested at his West Springfield home. He is being charged with seven counts of negligent homicide, for which he will face a judge in New Hampshire.
Massachusetts couple Jo-Ann and Edward Corr among 7 killed in New Hampshire motorcycle crash
Two of the seven lived in Massachusetts. The others lived in Maine and Rhode Island.
Coos County Attorney John McCormick said during a weekend press conference that the investigation of the crash will look at the conduct of Zhukovskyy and the company he works for, Westfield Transport, Inc., in West Springfield.
Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicate that the company has faced various violations in the last two years, including two instances where drivers were in possession of narcotic drugs.
A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Westfield Transport on Monday afternoon said he was on the other line with state police and hung up when asked for a comment.
During inspections on March 9, 2018, and March 12, 2018, a driver was found in possession of a narcotic drug, amphetamine, according to the federal records. Those inspections happened in Vermont and Massachusetts, respectively.
A photo from the scene of Friday’s crash showed license plate S26138 on the Westfield Transport pickup truck.
Federal records indicate that license plate number was involved in the March 9 and 12 inspections, when the driver was in possession of amphetamine.
The federal records do not list drivers who were behind the wheel during the inspections.
Other inspections led to the discovery of vehicle maintenance violations including inoperative or defective brakes, drivers who did not have a required CDL license and unsafe driving violations like failure to stay in a lane and speeding 11 to 14 miles per hour more than the speed limit, according to records.
Over the weekend, officials said they could not release many details about the investigation, including whether drugs or alcohol may have been factors in the crash.
When Zhukovskyy was arrested Monday morning, Massachusetts State Police found wax packets containing a residue that authorities believe is heroin in his home.
As of Monday afternoon, Zhukovskyy is not facing any drug charges. If the residue tests positive as an illegal narcotic, Zhukovskyy will face drug charges, state police said.
The crash has rocked both the veteran and motorcycle communities.
Those killed were members or supporters of the Marine JarHeads, a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses.
Authorities have identified the victims as Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, Massachusetts; Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire; Albert Mazza Jr., 59, of Lee, New Hampshire; Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, New Hampshire; Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire; and Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island.
About 400 paid tribute to the victims during a Blessing of the Bikes ceremony on Sunday.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
New Hampshire Attorney General identifies 7 killed in motorcycle crash.
My sympathy and prayers go to the families.