Man charged in deadly NH motorcycle wreck given CDL despite prior drunken driving arrest

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles awarded the driver of a pickup truck in a crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in 2018 despite the fact that he was arrested on drunken driving charges in 2013, 7Investigates has learned.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, is facing seven counts of negligent homicide. His truck, towing a flatbed trailer, collided with a group of 10 motorcycles on Friday on a two-lane highway in Randolph, killing seven of them, according to New Hampshire State Police.

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Records show Zhukovskyy was arrested for drunken driving in 2013 in Westfield. His license was suspended for 210 days.

The Bay State still awarded Zhukovskyy a CDL in 2018.

Zhukovskyy retained the license even though he was arrested in May in East Windsor, Connecticut, after failing a sobriety test in a Walmart parking lot. Records indicate officers found him revving his truck engine and jumping around outside of the vehicle.

Just three weeks ago, police in Texas say Zhukovskyy flipped an 18-wheeler. He claimed a driver cut him off, causing him to lose control of the rig. He was not charged.

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The head of one commercial driving school in Massachusetts told 7’s Steve Tellier that Zhukovskyy’s driving record would not have stopped him from getting a CDL but his second arrest last month could have triggered a suspension and possibly prevented last week’s horrific wreck.

In a statement, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said, “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.”

The head of the registry, Erin Deveney, has since resigned.

Zhukovskyy pleaded not guilty Tuesday through his lawyer.

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