BOSTON (CBS) – The Baker administration said Monday preliminary findings of an RMV review revealed flaws in processing out-of-state information that would have allowed Massachusetts to revoke Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s commercial driver’s license leading up to a crash that killed seven motorcyclists in Randolph, New Hampshire. A backlog of unprocessed records could also impact hundreds of other licenses as well.
Seven motorcyclists died last month in the New Hampshire crash. Prosecutors say Zhukovskyy was driving a pickup truck towing a trailer when he slammed into the group of motorcyclists. He is now charged with seven counts of negligent homicide.
Zhukovskyy, who had a commercial driver’s license and worked for Westfield Transport at the time of the crash, has an extensive record that includes arrests in six state. He had been charged with drunk driving in Connecticut just weeks the motorcyclists were killed.
The arrest should have led to Zhukovskyy’s license being suspended. But the request from Connecticut was not processed in Massachusetts.
Erin Deveney, head of the Massachusetts RMV, announced her resignation after MassDOT said Zhukovskyy should not have been on the road.
“In this case, the RMV failed to act on critically important information that had been previously communicated by another state,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “This failure is completely unacceptable to me, to the residents of the Commonwealth who expect the RMV to do its job and track drivers’ records.”
During a Monday press conference, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said a backlog of documents also accumulated unprocessed in a room at the RMV in Quincy.
Pollack said the records backlog dates back to March 2018 and includes regular driver’s licenses as well. In the last five days, 600 serious violations have been found related to 500 drivers.
In what Pollack calls an “unprecedented” move, all 5.2 million licenses in Massachusetts will be checked against a national database to see if any violations have gone unnoticed.
Baker said Connecticut did nothing wrong in its handling of Zhukovskyy’s case.
“The loss of life in any motor vehicle crash is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the friends and families of those who have been lost,” Baker said. “The fact that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles failed to act on information related to the driver responsible for this is deeply troubling and completely unacceptable.”