New Details: Why License of Driver in Fatal NH Crash Wasn't Revoked

Massachusetts officials revealed new details Monday about why the license of the driver accused of causing a deadly New Hampshire crash wasn't revoked despite a previous arrest for operating under the influence.

Gov. Charlie Baker and other top state officials promised Monday to conduct a full review of the Registry of Motor Vehicles' state-to-state data sharing after the agency failed to act on information from Connecticut about a May 11 incident that should have triggered the termination of Vlodymyr Zhukovskyy's commercial driver's license.

"This failure is completely unacceptable to me and to the residents of the Commonwealth," Baker said. 

Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, faces seven counts of negligent homicide after allegedly crashing his pickup truck into a group of motorcyclists on June 21 in Randolph, New Hampshire. The accident left seven dead and injured three others.

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack confirmed Monday that a preliminary review found that Connecticut sent the Massachusetts RMV both an electronic and a paper warning about Zhukovskyy. The RMV, however, did not act on the warnings. 

Pollack said a computer system flaw, a backlog of 365 notifications and not having anyone assigned to review them were among the reasons the RMV failed to revoke Zhukovskyy's license. She added that actions are already underway to correct these lapses, and 630 operators have been suspended to date.

Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney announced her resignation last week in the wake of her office's role in the crash. Former MassDOT Chief Operating Officer Jamey Tesler is serving as acting registrar.

Pollack had previously said that Connecticut failed to provide the information that would have triggered an automatic review process, a charge Connecticut denied.

Zhukovskyy has a lengthy record of incidents on the road. He was arrested on OUI charges in 2013 in Westfield, Massachusetts, and again last month in Connecticut, when he was allegedly found at a Walmart revving his truck engine and jumping around outside his vehicle.

The OUI arrest in May should have triggered the RMV to review Zhukovskyy's account, and that review would have resulted in the license being taken away, according to Pollack.

She said Monday that the RMV is going through its backlog of both paper and electronic warnings from other states about commercial and recreational drivers licenses as part of its review. So far, she said they have only found that one license needed to be suspended, and that was Zhukovskyy's.

Some Massachusetts lawmakers have called for an outside audit of the RMV following the fatal New Hampshire accident.

"That's a pretty egregious oversight," state Rep. David DeCoste told the Boston Herald. "My guess is it's not the only thing they're doing wrong."

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