BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts is going to take a closer look at how it shares driver data with other states after a driver that shouldn’t have been on the road ended up in a crash that killed 7 people.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, is charged with seven counts of negligent homicide in the June 21 crash in Randolph, New Hampshire. Police say he was driving a pickup truck and trailer that crashed into a group of motorcycles.
Zhukovskyy had a commercial driving license and was working for Westfield Transport at the time of the horrific crash.
The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney resigned Tuesday after it was revealed the RMV should have taken away Zhukovskyy’s license last month.
“The RMV failed to act on information provided by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles about a May 11 incident involving Zhukovskyy,” state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said in a statement. In that incident, Connecticut police said Zhukovskyy failed a sobriety test in a Walmart parking lot in East Windsor.
According to Pollack, Connecticut sent a message to the Massachusetts RMV about Zhukovskyy’s May 11th OUI on May 29. She said that message “generated a notification requiring manual review,” but no one in Massachusetts looked at it.
“This review had not been performed by RMV personnel as of June 23, which is why the May 11 chemical test refusal does not appear on Zhukovskyy’s driving record and why his license had not been suspended in MA,” Pollock said.
The Connecticut arrest should have cost Zhukovskyy his commercial driving license in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts says they didn’t get the proper notification because, “Connecticut failed to provide sufficient information through the federal CDL system.”
“There was a mistake made by the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts because of the way the information flowed,” Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said Wednesday.
Connecticut officials say their receipt shows that’s simply not true.
Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles says their state properly took the information, submitted it to the national database on May 29th and received confirmation that Massachusetts received it.
“They sent something back to us saying based upon the information we received, Connecticut did everything, the process was right, they did everything right,” said Tony Guerrera, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut DMV.
With Deveney out, former MassDOT Chief Operating Officer Jamey Tesler will take over as acting registrar of the Mass. RMV.
“We are making sure the acting registrar is doing a thorough review of all the circumstances involving this particular matter and the process so that we can make sure that the registry does their job,” Polito said.
The president of the motorcycle club involved in the crash is unhappy with Deveney’s resignation.
“Too many good people passed away because someone didn’t do their job,” said Jarhead president Manny Ribeiro. “You do not want to be where we are today. I promise you. You don’t. Fix it. Don’t run from it. Fix it. That’s all.”
Zhukovskyy was given a commercial driving license on August 3, 2018, even though he had a drunk driving arrest in 2013. There are also accidents, infractions and a drug charge that date back to when Zhukovskyy was just 16 years old.
Police in Baytown, Texas said Tuesday that Zhukovskyy flipped a tractor-trailer outside of Houston on June 3. Zhukovskyy told police that he had been cut off, causing him to lose control of the 18-wheeler and roll over. He was not charged.
In February, he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in Baytown, after police say they found him intoxicated with a crack pipe at a Denny’s restaurant.
Zhukovskyy is being held in a jail in Lancaster, New Hampshire on the negligent homicide charges. The Department of Homeland Security issued an immigration detainer on Zhukovskyy June 23, which means he could be deported back to the Ukraine if he’s released from police custody.