Authorities are continuing to investigate the horrific crash that killed seven people and wounded three others Friday evening in Randolph, N.H.
Here are five key things we know about the tragedy.
1] Time and location — The crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. Friday on Route 2 in Randolph, when a pickup truck driven by Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, collided with a group of motorcyclists, killing seven people who were riding the bikes.
Zhukovskyy wasn’t seriously hurt. His pickup was hauling a trailer at the time of the crash. Authorities haven’t said what caused the fatal collision, but on Monday Zhukovskyy was arrested at his home on seven counts of negligent homicide.
2] The victims — Officials have identified the deceased as Jo-Ann and Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville; Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, N.H.; Albert Mazza, 59, of Lee, N.H.; Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, R.I.; Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, N.H.; and Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, N.H.
The crash involved members of Jarheads MC, a motorcycle club comprising Marine Corps veterans and close friends from across New England.
New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie Duval determined that all seven victims died of blunt force trauma.
3] The response — A GoFundMe page set up for the victims’ families had raised $331,388 as of 11 a.m. Monday.
“On Friday, June 21st 2019 Jarheads MC was riding to a charity event at the local American Legion in Gorham, New Hampshire Post #82,” said a notice on the page. “Our pack was struck by an oncoming vehicle and we lost 5 patch holders and 2 supporters, and many others are injured. Our club and the families are going to need help and we cannot do it alone. I am pleading with you all, please do what you can, and 100% of the funds raised will go where it is needed to help ease some of the financial burden left behind after this tragic event.”
The posting said the motorcycle club “has always been about helping veterans and their families. Please help us now and give what you can. Everything you can do is appreciated. We are strong enough to get through this, but we ask for and need your support.”
4] Victim remembrances — Oakes, a mother of two boys, had turned to helping others after she lost her husband and her 4½-year-old son to cancer, said her father, Dan Cook, in an interview. Oakes was riding on the same motorcycle with her boyfriend, Perry, a Marine Corps veteran, at the time of the crash.
Her young son died in 2009; her husband in 2012. In between hospital visits, Oakes began volunteering with Childhood Cancer Lifeline of New Hampshire, an organization that offers financial help to families with children battling cancer, her father said.
Oakes’s older son just graduated from high school, Cook said.
“She wasn’t a person who just took; she was a person who gave,” Cook said.
Mazza’s sister, Tina Mazza, said the siblings, who were only 10 months apart in age, were very close.
“He was just a really great man, a really great guy, and he loved his family very much,” she said in an interview. “He loved being a veteran and taking care of veterans. That’s just how he was. It’s just very difficult for us as a family right now.”
Pereira was married 27 years and had served in the Marine Corps, said his wife, Helen Pereira. The couple had two children, 25 and 23.
“He was the best man, he would give you the shirt off his back. And everything he did was for charity, helping with the Marines,” Pereira said in an interview.
Jo-Ann Corr’s brother, Bob Boudreau, told a reporter: “This is a very tragic time for my family.” Jo-Ann and Edward Corr were on the same motorcycle at the time of the crash.
5] The driver, and his employer — Zhukovskyy faces seven counts of negligent homicide after he was arrested Monday morning at his home at 90 Newbridge St. in West Springfield, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald’s office said in a statement.
Zhukovskyy could also face drug charges in Massachusetts. During his arrest Monday, state troopers “located in the defendant’s residence wax packets containing a residue suspected of being heroin,” said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, via e-mail.
Zhukovskyy has multiple prior infractions on his driving history, according to a copy of his record provided by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. He previously had his license suspended following a 2013 drunk driving arrest in which he was deemed an “immediate threat.”
In the Westfield case, Zhukovskyy was ultimately sentenced to a year of probation, and his license was suspended for 210 days, the Westfield News reported.
Zhukovskyy again had his license suspended Monday, and he was again deemed an “immediate threat” on the road, according to the RMV record.
Additional entries on his driving record include a surchargeable accident in April 2012, an equipment violation in July 2013 in Springfield, a surchargeable accident in July 2014, and an improper lane infraction in March 2019, his record says.
Zhukovskyy works for Westfield Transport in West Springfield. Online records for the US Department of Transportation dating back two years show that company hasn’t had any crashes resulting in injuries or death during that period.
The owner of Westfield Transport, Dartanyan Gasanov, said in a brief phone interview early Monday morning, before Zhukovskyy’s arrest was announced, that he had tried over the weekend to reach Zhukovskyy, without success.
“He’s still not answering my phone calls,” Gasanov said.