Despite warnings prior to NH fatal motorcycle crash, audit finds Mass. failed to strip license


This May 11, 2019 booking photo released by the East Windsor Police Department shows Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in East Windsor, Conn. Zhukovskyy is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in Lancaster, N.H., on seven counts of negligent homicide after the pickup he was driving collided with a group of motorcycles, killing seven on a two-lane highway in Randolph, N.H. on Friday night. (East Windsor Police Department via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has suspended the licenses of another 869 drivers as part of an ongoing review of the agency’s practices following a deadly crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire in June.

The suspensions announced Thursday in a memo by acting Registrar of Motor Vehicles Jamey Tesler are in addition to the more than 1,600 Massachusetts drivers who have already had their licenses suspended as part of the review.

Tesler wrote that Massachusetts has also sent 5.2 million individual driver records to the National Driver Register to see if any drivers have committed offenses in other states that could lead to license suspensions here.

The initial batch of more than 1,600 suspensions came after out-of-state violations that had gone unprocessed for years were discovered in bins at registry headquarters.

Tesler said registry officials are continuing to improve their handling of out-of-state notifications to avoid another backlog, ensuring that notifications received by mail are scanned and reviewed and that any notifications that would trigger a suspension are acted on promptly.

During July more than 3,500 pieces of incoming mail containing out-of-state notifications were reviewed, with suspensions taken against 250 Massachusetts drivers, the report said.

Before the deadly June crash that prompted the review, Connecticut officials had twice alerted Massachusetts about a drunken driving arrest against Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the commercial truck driver from Massachusetts who was behind the wheel.

Despite the notification from Connecticut, Massachusetts failed to act to suspend his license.

Zhukovskyy has pleaded not guilty.

State lawmakers have launched their own probe of the registry as a result of the crash and revelations of unprocessed out-of-state violations.

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