REPORTS: Trucking Company Closes In Wake Of Fatal New Hampshire Motorcycle Crash
West Springfield, MA – The trucking company that employed the driver facing seven counts of negligent homicide stemming from a horrific accident on June 21, 2019, in New Hampshire (which left seven motorcyclists dead) has closed its doors.
One day after Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office announced it had formally opened an investigation into Westfield Transport Inc., the company has closed, according to numerous published reports.
A Google search for the company yielded results also indicating the company’s closure.
Numerous calls from Transportation Nation Network (TNN) to Westfield Transport went unanswered Wednesday morning.
Further, a report by Western Mass News, published on Tuesday, indicates a call to Westfield Transport was answered.
However, the report states:
A man who answered a phone listing for Westfield Transport… did not identify himself… said the company does not exist anymore before hanging up.
Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show the company faced various violations in the last two years, including two instances where drivers were in possession of drugs.
Two inspections in March 2019 show a driver was found to have amphetamine, according to the federal records.
Those inspections happened in Vermont and Massachusetts.
How Did We Get Here?
Authorities say 23-year-old Ukranian immigrant Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was driving for Westfield Transport at the time of the fatal crash.
Investigators say Zhukovskyy was traveling westbound on Route 2 in a 2016 Dodge pick-up truck when he collided with a group of Marine JarHeads, a New England motorcycle club that included Marines and their spouses, headed eastbound at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Zhukovskyy had only been driving for Westfield Transport for three days when the tragic accident occurred.
In the days following the crash, Westfield Transport’s owner, Damien Gasanov, briefly spoke with NBC10 Boston after being questioned by investigators.
“It’s a horrible, tragic…” Gasanov said as his voice cracked.
“Our condolences to the families, our prayers to the families,” he said through tears.
Gasanov indicated he was cooperating with authorities and he would continue to do so.
He has not spoken publicly since.
Zhukovskyy received his CDL on August 3, 2018 from the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Since the accident, an internal review conducted by the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles (MRMV) concluded the department “failed to act” on 365 serious offenses by Massachusetts commercial driver’s license holders stemming as far back as March 2018.
The review was sparked by the alarming realization that MRMV should have suspended Zhukovskyy’s commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Zhukovskyy was arrested in East Windsor, Connecticut on May 11, and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker admitted that Connecticut officials sent the proper notification to the MRMV that should have triggered a suspension of Zhukovskyy’s CDL.
“The MRMV failed to act on critically important information that had been previously communicated by another state,” Governor Baker said at a press conference earlier this month.
Governor Files Bill To Increase CDL Requirements
Last week, Governor Baker filed new legislation that would significantly increase the requirements for obtaining and keeping a CDL.
The bill would enact the following new measures:
- CDL applicants must have a history of good driving and are ineligible for a CDL if they have been suspended or disqualified from driving in the past three years.
- CDL holders who commit two serious traffic violations in a three year period would face an increase in minimum suspension time from 60 days to 120 days.
- CDL holders who commit three serious traffic violations in a three year period would face an increase in minimum suspension time from 120 days to 240 days.
- CDL holders would be required to inform both employers and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle the next day if they are convicted of violating any state or local motor vehicle traffic law. Failing to do so would result in a penalty.
- Employers who hire CDL drivers would be required to sign up for a state driver verification system, which provides automatic notification to employers if an employee’s drivers license status changes.
Stay with TransportationNation.com for the latest developments on this story.