The fallout continues in the wake of last month’s tragic accident in the USA where a driver ploughed his pick-up into a group of motorcyclists, killing seven and injuring three.
For some reason truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, crossed the centre line of a New Hampshire highway at 6.30pm on 27 June 2019, running into riders and pillions from the Marine JarHeads Motorcycle Club that includes ex-United States Marines.
The ramifications of the crash have been far-reaching.
ON the positive side, a gofundme account set up to rally support for the families of the victims raised nearly $US300,000 (about $A430,000) in the first day.
In the past month it has raised more than $US577,000 (about $A830,000) from 10,470 people.
Patriots football club owner Robert Kraft also pledged to donate $100,000.
On July 6, more than 3000 motorcyclists paid tribute to the fallen riders with a 145km memorial ride on the New Hampshire highway where the crash occurred.
And now the American Legion Post 82 in Gorham is working to create a granite memorial near the crash site in Randolph which will feature the Jarheads motorcycle logo.
Zhukovskyy was arrested near his home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, three days after the crash on a fugitive-from-justice charge.
He was later charged with seven counts of negligent homicide and faces more than 100 years in jail when he goes on trial in November.
It was later revealed he had two prior drink-driving convictions in other states and should have had his commercial driver’s licence suspended, but was still driving for Westfield Transport.
The Massachusetts’ Registry of Motor Vehicles subsequently launched an investigation into a substantial backlog of similar licence issues.
The RMV boss resigned and several thousand drivers have since had their licences suspended.
Massachusetts’ Attorney General is also investigating Westfield Transport over allegations the company has a history of violations, including mechanical problems and drug-related infraction.
It is believed Westfield Transport has now closed down.
This week, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report confirming that Zhukovskyy crossed the centre line in his company’s Dodge RAM 2500 pick-up which was towing a long flatbed trailer.
However, it did not say if he was speeding on the 50mph road or under the influence of drugs.
A more complete report is expected later this year.
- We will keep you updated on further fallout from the tragic event.