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Head of RMV resigns amid fallout from deadly motorcycle crash

Massachusetts

FILE – In this April 29, 2014, file photo, Erin Deveney, interim head of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, speaks during a news conference in Boston. Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, a driver for a transport company who has a history of traffic arrests, pleaded not guilty Tuesday, June 25, 2019, to seven counts of negligent homicide in a collision with a group of motorcyclists on a rural highway. His case also led late Tuesday to the resignation of Deveney, the head of the motor vehicle division in Massachusetts, after it was determined Zhukovskyy’s commercial driving license should have been suspended following a drunk driving arrest in Connecticut in May. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

BOSTON (WPRI) — The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has resigned following a devastating motorcycle crash in New Hampshire that killed seven people, including an East Providence man and a Lakeville couple.

RMV Registrar Erin Deveney submitted her letter of resignation Tuesday night after the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) stated the driver accused of causing the crash, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, should not have been allowed to drive.

Zhukovskyy, 23, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to seven counts of negligent homicide and was ordered to remain in preventive detention in New Hampshire, with a judge saying his driving record poses a potential danger to the public and himself.

A review of Zhukovskyy’s driving record revealed he lost his license for an OUI charge back in 2013 when he was under the age of 21. He went on to revive his commercial driver’s license in 2018.

On May 11 of this year, he received another citation for allegedly driving under the influence and refusing to submit a chemical test in Connecticut.

The RMV was made aware of the latest violation on May 29, but due to insufficient information, his commercial driver’s license was not automatically suspended as it should have been.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said a review of Zhukovskyy’s driving record should have been done by RMV personnel.

“The loss of life in any motor vehicle crash is a terrible tragedy and the massive toll this crash is taking on the families of the seven individuals who lost their lives, many of whom served this country, is impossible to comprehend,” Pollack said in a statement. “The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has a responsibility to enforce the laws governing the safe operation of vehicles and carries out its mission to the best of its abilities. But in this case, the RMV had not acted on information provided by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles about a May 11 incident that should have triggered termination of this individual’s commercial driver’s license.”

Pollack said former MassDOT Chief Operating Officer Jamey Tesler will take over as Acting Registrar of the RMV and will be in charge of an extensive review of the Registry’s state-to-state data sharing process.

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