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Mass. RMV head resigns after N.H. crash that killed 7

Stephanie Pollack, the MassDOT Secretary and CEO, released a statement on June 25, saying she had accepted registrar Erin Deveney's resignation.

The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles resigned Tuesday following last week's crash in New Hampshire that killed seven motorcycle riders.

Stephanie Pollack, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO, released a statement on June 25, saying she had accepted registrar Erin Deveney's resignation.

Pollack added that former MassDOT Chief Operating Officer Jamey Tesler will be taking over as acting registrar of the state's RMV.

The decision comes after a crash on Friday, June 21 left seven people dead and three injured when a pick-up truck pulling a trailer hit a group of motorcycle riders. 

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The truck's driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield has since been charged with seven counts of negligent homicide. On Tuesday, June 25, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Zhukovskyy's trial is scheduled for November.

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The 23-year-old received his Class A license in August 2018. Before that, he had a violation for an OUI in June 2013 -- two months after he received his personal driving license. That incident did not disqualify him from obtaining a Class A license.

In her statement, Pollack said a violation on May 11 "should have triggered termination of this individual’s commercial driver’s license." Zhukovskyy was driving in East Windsor, Conn. when he received a violation for an alleged OUI and refused to submit to a chemical test.

The Mass. RMV follows a number of state and federal guidelines regarding license suspensions or revocations. Refusal of a chemical test is supposed to result in automatic termination of a Class A license. An OUI is supposed to trigger a seven-day notification process for suspension of a non-commercial license. 

"To the RMV’s knowledge, Connecticut failed to provide sufficient information through the federal CDL system (CDLIS) upon his May 11th OUI offense and refusal of a chemical test for the violations to automatically apply to his MA driving record," the MassDOT wrote in a statement. "CDLIS notification would have resulted in an immediate termination of his CDL."

As a result, the May 11 chemical test refusal does not appear on Zhukovskyy's driving record and his license was not suspended in Mass.

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The Union Leader, a paper based out of New Hampshire, cites two driving incidents involving Zhukovskyy in Baytown, Texas. In the most recent one on June 3, he was reportedly driving a tractor-trailer with five cars on it when the vehicle flipped on its side. 

RELATED: Police: deadly N.H. crash suspect crashed in Texas just weeks before

Public defender Melissa Lynn Davis will be representing Zhukovskyy.

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