WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Over the last several days, the deadly New Hampshire crash involving a West Springfield flatbed trailer driver has prompted concern and confusion, much of it centered on how Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was allowed to obtain and keep a commercial driver's license.
We already know from the RMV that Zhukovskyy's refusal to take a chemical test in Connecticut in May should have triggered the immediate loss of his commercial driver's license.
Because of the communication breakdown. that did not happen.
However, it appears he narrowly skirted losing the CDL before that date.
Mass DOT officials say Volodymyr Zhukovskyy's 2013 OUI was not enough to keep him from obtaining a commercial driver's license, saying:
"Zhukovskyy's driving history did not have the number and type of violations that would have disqualified him under state and federal law from obtaining a CDL in August 2018."
The Massachusetts CDL manual states obtaining a CDL is not easy.
Losing it is.
However, the reported infractions against Zhukovskyy appeared to fall short of the violations that would have caused the West Springfield man to get his license revoked.
The manual states a driver must be caught driving a vehicle, either personal or commercial, under the influence in order to get their CDL taken away.
It does not appear to count if the driver is arrested on drug or paraphernalia charges outside of a vehicle, which happened to Zhukovskyy in Baytown, Texas this past February.
"I'm just tired. I need to go to sleep...I'm a truck driver my truck is parked outside," says Zhukovskyy.
After identifying himself as a truck driver, he claimed his company subjected him to a drug test shortly before.
"You take any kind of drugs?" asked a Texas Police officer.
"No, no, like, we just had a drug test..when was it? Monday? We had a drug test. Our company did drug tests for us," replied Zhukovskyy.
Zhukovskyy's Baytown paraphernalia charges don't reveal any OUI or driving offenses.
He was questioned and taken into custody in a Denny's.
Looking through the manual, Western Mass News spotted one rule, requiring drivers to give their employers information on all driving jobs from the last ten years:
"You must give your employer information on all driving jobs you have held for the past ten years. You must do this when you apply for a commercial driving job."
We went to ask his employer, Westfield Transport, if those records had been turned over, as per the rule, but declined our request for comment.
The crash in New Hampshire on Friday killed seven motorcyclists.
Zhukovskyy remains in that state on a detention order.
He faces seven negligent homicide charges.