Truck driver indicted on 23 counts in motorcyclist deaths

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FILE – In this June 24, 2019 file photo, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, the driver of a pickup truck in a fiery collision on a highway in rural Randolph, N.H., that killed seven motorcyclists, stands with his attorney Donald Frank during a hearing in Springfield District Court in Springfield, Mass. The Boston Globe reported Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, that a federal report it obtained found that Zhukovskyy tested positive for an unspecified drug after his pickup truck crossed the center yellow line and crashed into the motorcyclists. The document also said Zhukovskyy admitted that he reached for a drink just before the crash. (Don Treeger/The Republican via AP, Pool, File)

LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — A pickup truck driver accused of causing a collision that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire has been indicted on 23 charges saying he negligently caused the deaths and was under the influence of one or more drugs at the time.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy , 23, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is to be arraigned by video on Nov. 5. He has been jailed without bail since the June 21 crash in Randolph.

A Coos County grand jury handed up indictments Thursday on seven counts of negligent homicide; seven counts of negligent homicide — driving under the influence; seven counts of manslaughter-reckless; one count of driving while intoxicated; and one count of reckless conduct. If convicted of all charges, Zhukovskyy could face up to 378 years in prison. He’s previously pleaded not guilty.

A message was left with Zhukovskyy’s lawyer Monday.

The negligent homicide-DUI charges accuse Zhukovskyy of driving under the influence of a controlled drug or drugs at the time of the crash. The manslaughter charges accuse Zhukovskyy of driving recklessly and swerving across the center line on Route 2.

In August, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that a toxicology report showed Zhukovskyy was positive for an unspecified drug that made him incapable of driving safely when his pickup truck crossed the center yellow line and crashed into the motorcyclists.

Zhukovskyy also said that he reached for a drink on the passenger side of the truck just before the crash, according to the report. That violation was labeled as “inattentive driving.”

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