Seven Riders Dead in Massachusetts

The Jarheads MC took a heavy blow this weekend, because of a pickup truck that was on fire when emergency services arrived.
Volodoymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was behind the wheel of a 2016 Dodge 2500 with an attached trailer, officials said at a press conference. Zhukovskyy is not currently facing any charges, but officials said the crash remains under investigation.
It's a tragedy for Jarheads MC, a Marine Corps veterans club. Ride safe, those of you who do. You just can't predict what the cagers will do.

UPDATE: A photo from a FB group I'm in, one of whose members went out to the scene.


Dad29 said...


Was on the Ill tollway north of Chicago, keeping up with traffic at about 75 MPH (20 over!!) when sumdood on a crotchrocket blew past me. Prolly doing 90+, and often driving BETWEEN LANES to boot.

"Cagers" may be unpredictable, but we're not into suicide.

Grim said...

That young fellow may get himself killed, but at least he'll have done it to himself -- and he's not likely to hurt anyone else. It's still unwise, of course.

Trucks hitting bikers is bad news. I was reading about a biker killed on US 64 just about a week ago, because an SUV crossed into his lane in a mountain curve and struck him head on. Driving in the middle of the road rather than in your lane seems to be a Western North Carolina thing. I've never been anywhere else where the standard seems to be that everyone drives straddling the yellow lines, and only returns to their proper lane if there's oncoming traffic. I guess it's because the mountain roads are so curvy, but it's not impossible to stay in your lane, and it can kill a biker if you don't.

That guy got charged with a misdemeanor. This guy killed seven people and, at least so far, isn't charged at all. Maybe they didn't have evil intent, and maybe these things are just accidents; but it's not out of line to point out that it's something you should consider when you're driving a big steel object down the road. You may not even mean any harm, and kill a veteran -- or seven -- just because you lose focus and drift out of your lane.

raven said...

A tragic event.
It is rare anymore, I go out and do not see someone blowing a stop sign or coming over the centerline. Usually looking down at their phone. My local UPS guy says half the people he sees are on their phone or texting. He sees a lot of traffic in a day. It will be interesting to see if the police request phone records of the truck driver.

Usually these mass biker casualty scenes seem to be the result of a driver coming over the centerline. Usually the riders are in a formation, and have little reaction time. A closing speed of 60mph (30 mph each lane) is 88 feet per second. Maybe 1.5 seconds reaction time. 132 feet gone before any evasive action can be taken.
And always, in a group, evasive maneuvers are limited by the other riders- can't swerve too hard, can't brake too hard, without having a bike to bike collision.

I drove around rural Italy about 20 years ago, and loved it. No one observed the lane lines, and it was not unusual for an overtaking car to come right down the centerline with oncoming traffic and overtaken traffic splitting left and right to the shoulders to allow room. The difference is in the land of Nuvolari and Agostino, the drivers were switched on, not oblivious. Of course that was in the BCP era.. (before cell phones.) Who knows how the Italians drive today.

E Hines said...

No one observed the lane lines, and it was not unusual for an overtaking car to come right down the centerline with oncoming traffic and overtaken traffic splitting left and right to the shoulders to allow room.

It was that way in Germany, too, 40 years ago, anyway. Drivers meeting each other would be taking their half of the road out of the middle, sliding over at need to allow each other to pass. If the road was wide enough for three lanes, even if it was marked for two, or not marked at all, traffic was expected to move over to give room to the oncoming driver passing a slower driver.

Also, drivers on the autobahns, and on other roadways with merge ramps, were expected to slide over one lane to leave the right hand lane clear for the merging traffic to do so at highway speed, rather than having to accelerate to speed after the merge--something I only rarely see in the US.

Of course, 40 years ago no one had so many tools of distraction available to the drive--no cell phones for texting or calling, no displays for messing with, etc.

Eric Hines

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The truck driver was from Mass, but the accident was in NH. Randolph is in the White Mountains. I have no inside knowledge, but I have to think that 6:30pm is too early to have the sun in your eyes. OTOH, Rte 2 is up and down hill a lot, so that could be it - though the clips seems to show a flat stretch.

Terribly sad.

Joel Leggett said...

As a member of a veteran’s motorcycle club (Forgotten Sons MC) this is beyond tragic. The entire veterans’ motorcycle community is still reeling from the news. I was at an event down in Wilmington, NC this weekend and it was just about the only thing people were talking about.

Here in Northern Virginia I continue to be amazed at the pervasive disregard drivers have for staying in their lanes, especially on back roads out in the country. Pickup trucks are the worst offenders. It really makes you nervous when you are riding side-by-side in formation with little room to maneuver if a driver decides to take their share of the road up the middle.

Dad29 said...

To clarify: this event is horrible. That's seven good people we will no longer have, along with all their future good deeds, parenting, ....

And yes, there are a lot of morons out there texting, or who cannot both drive AND speak on a phone simultaneously.

douglas said...

Well, now he's been charged with seven counts of negligent manslaughter, so there's that, for the little comfort that will bring.

"...but at least he'll have done it to himself -- and he's not likely to hurt anyone else."
Yes, usually, although I recall an incident near here where a kid on a crotch rocket was doing near 90 down a wide boulevard, and a car pulling out of a side street never saw him (unsurprisingly). He t-boned it at near full speed, Killing a little girl in the back seat of the car, and I think him as well.

Of course, cars kill people in cars all the time, too.

"...the drivers were switched on, not oblivious."
Well, that really makes all the difference. The one thing that drives me nuts when driving is people who are oblivious- even more than people who are just jerks.