The aftermath of June’s horrific multiple-fatality motorcycle crash in New Hampshire has seen hundreds of drivers’ licenses suspended in neighboring Massachusetts.
By now, most of North America (not just motorcyclists) has heard about the June 21 incident that saw seven motorcyclists killed in Randolph, New Hampshire. The riders were members of a veterans’ motorcycle club. A Massachusetts man, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, has been charged with seven counts of negligent homicide, and has pleaded not guilty. Zhukovskyy was allegedly hauling a car hauler for a commercial trucking company when the incident occurred.
Shortly after the crash, when Zhukovskyy was identified as the driver, investigators, media and individuals started digging into his past. USA Today reported Zhukovskyy has arrest records in six states, including drug charges and traffic violations. That raised the question: How was Zhukovskyy still allowed to drive a commercial vehicle? That’s what an investigation by Massachusett’s Department of Transportation is trying to find out.
Officials from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles have said Zhukovskyy’s commercial driving licence should have been revoked after impaired driving charges were filed in Connecticut as recently as May 11. Why didn’t that happen? The investigation revealed state employees had not followed through on mail from other jurisdictions, informing them of traffic violations. USA Today says one registry facility had thousands of notices piled up in mail bins, going back as far as 15 months. Massachusetts’ Registry of Motor Vehicles had changed its computer systems for handling out-of-state traffic incidents in March, 2018, and that’s when the problems began.
Now, officials are on the warpath, and have suspended more than 900 drivers’ licenses after examining records sent from other jurisdictions, with more to come, most likely. The Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Erin Deveney, has resigned, and the state has announced the new position of deputy registrar for safety.