After deadly N.H. biker crash, thousands of out-of-state traffic notices found untouched by Massachusetts RMV

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BOSTON — Tens of thousands of paper notices detailing traffic infractions that Massachusetts drivers compiled in other states have been sitting untouched in 53 bins at a state facility in Quincy, a preliminary review by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has found.

Among them: a May 11 report of a drunken-driving violation in Connecticut accumulated by Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, a truck driver from West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Connecticut notified the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles about Zhukovskyy's incident both electronically and through a mailed notice that would have got into one of the bins, the report released Monday says. Under state law, Zhukovskyy's commercial driver's license should have been immediately terminated and his right to drive a passenger vehicle suspended. 

Instead, six weeks later – and still licensed by the state despite the violation –Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, Massachusetts, struck a group of motorcyclists June 21 after crossing a double-yellow line on a rural highway in Lancaster, New Hampshire, with his truck and trailer. Seven people died; he's pleaded not guilty to seven counts of vehicular homicide. 

How did he still have a license? Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles boss quits after crash kills 7

The alarming report, sparked by the horrific crash in New Hampshire and outlined in a Monday memo, sheds new light on a colossal breakdown in Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's administration's handling of out-of-state traffic violations. The head of the Massachusetts RMV, Erin Deveney, resigned last week amid the fallout. 

“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,” Baker, a Republican, said at a Monday news conference alongside Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. 

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to reporters at the Statehouse in Boston.

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to reporters at the Statehouse in Boston. (Photo: Elise Amendola, AP)

The bins were discovered last Wednesday. "For reasons that have not yet been determined," the report found, staff of the Merit Rating Board in Quincy in March 2018 stopped processing out-of-state violations and instead started putting them in the bins, which were sorted by month.

For the past five days, RMV officials have been systematically looking up the drivers whose mailed out-of-state notifications hadn't been processed, the report says. 

As of Monday, they had processed 655 new license suspensions – all related to alcohol-related violations – spanning 546 unique individuals. More are expected as the sorting continues ahead of the Fourth of July. 

Zhukovskyy has a disturbing record of drug- and traffic-related arrests in six states. The most recent prior to the New Hampshire crash occurred May 11,when he was arrested in a Walmart parking lot in East Windsor, Connecticut, after he refused a chemical test.

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Joey Garrison
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usatoday.com




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