Jay Duguay, a public defender who represented Mr. Zhukovskyy, argued in his summation that Albert Mazza Jr., the president of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club who was killed in the collision, had caused the crash because he had been “driving his motorcycle while drunk, wasn’t looking where he was going, lost control of his bike and just slid into the oncoming truck.”
Mr. Duguay also said that prosecution witnesses had offered conflicting accounts of what transpired before the crash: One witness testified that she had seen Mr. Zhukovskyy’s truck swerve in the lanes, while another said that he had not. Witnesses, Mr. Duguay said, had shared “completely different irreconcilable recollections.”
Prosecutors, however, said that while Mr. Mazza’s impairment was a “poor choice,” it ultimately had nothing to do with the crash.
“Not one person saw Mazza impaired or driving off the road,” Scott D. Chase, a New Hampshire assistant attorney general, said during closing arguments. “But every person on that road saw the defendant all over it.”
A report from the National Transportation Safety Board released in December 2020 found that on the day of the crash, Mr. Zhukovskyy had been “impaired by several drugs,” including heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. He was working for Westfield Transport, a trucking company, at the time and was driving to Albany, N.Y., and Gorham, according to court records.
Mr. Zhukovskyy also had a suspended license in Connecticut, which should have led the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts to revoke his license, the report said. But because of failings in the notification process for out-of-state driver’s licenses, as reported by The Boston Globe in a 2020 investigative series, the alert never went through, the report said.