At least three people are dead and nine others were critically injured on Wednesday morning when a vehicle came crashing through the building of an auto action at 400 Charter Way in Billerica, Massachusetts, which is about 20 miles northwest of Boston, Fox 25 Boston reports.
Approximately 2,000 people were in attendance at Lynnway Auto Auction, a “resource for re-marketing used car needs,” when an unidentified elderly male driver of a blue 2006 Jeep Cherokee accelerated and lost control at around 10 a.m., plowing into a massive crowd and mowing down dozens of people.
A preliminary investigation at Lynnway Auto Auction indicates that the Billerica crash was accidental, and authorities do not suspect foul play, as there was no evidence of an attack. Initial reports disseminate that the driver, a Lynnway Auto Auction employee, may have had a medical emergency before the Billerica accident, but it has since been determined that as he was trying to avoid hitting a row of cars, he lost control. The driver slammed into a crowd of people before crashing into the auto action building.
Lynnway Auto Auction attendees stated that the SUV may have been traveling between 25 and 40 mph when the Billerica accident occurred. The vehicle crashed into a cement wall separating two garage doors with such force that it cracked.
Billerica Fire Chief Thomas Conway stated that firefighters were at the scene after the Billerica crash “trying to stabilize the building.”
Witnesses gave their accounts on what happened during the Billerica crash.
Geraldo Lima, 46, of Somerville, would have been among those who were killed or injured in the Billerica accident, but he was able to move out of the way just in time as the SUV flew by.
Lima added that after the Lynnway Auto Auction crash, “there was a lot of blood” and the Billerica crash victims began to scream and yell in agony while others ran to safety.
Woody Tuttle, a Lynnway Auto Auction employee, said, “We heard a bang or an explosion. It was almost like a bomb. The whole place just went silent, There were people just lying on the ground — a horrific, crazy, tragic situation.”
Doc Kagan, who regularly attends Lynnway Auto Auction, described the impact of the Billerica crash.
“It sounded like a bomb went off — people laying out on the floor in front of the car, people from the auction yelling for people to get outside. It was like a war zone.
“It was waiting in line to be bought, and I don’t know if it was the one at the podium or it was one behind of it, whatever, all of a sudden I heard this huge — I thought it was a bomb — it went through the brick wall and it hit another car waiting to leave. There were people in front of it and people behind.”
Kegan was inside of the building when the Billerica crash took place, and he immediately ran outside as he was instructed to do.
He said, “The sight wasn’t right. Blood was coming out of someone’s head on the floor. Too bad from a day’s work, people are ending up getting injured, hurt or worse.”
When emergency medical services arrived at the scene, they performed CPR on several people who were injured in the Billerica crash. At least nine people were transported to local hospitals, where two people were listed in critical condition and a third person was undergoing surgery with “a long road ahead of them,” said Dr. Casper Reske-Nielsen.
At least three people, a man and two women believed to be between the ages of 30 and 60, were confirmed dead after the Billerica accident. They were transported to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington. The driver of the SUV was not injured.
Lynnway Auto Auction is closed to the public.
Billerica and State Police are investigating the Billerica crash.
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