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At least two killed when Jeep strikes bystanders at Massachusetts auto auction

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At least two people were killed at a Massachusetts auto auction Wednesday in what police believe to be an accidental crash.

In a statement, Massachusetts State Police confirmed that there were fatalities and “multiple victims” at Lynnway Auto Auction Inc. in Billerica, Mass., about 20 miles northwest of Boston.

The police did not confirm how many people have been killed or injured or what might have caused the accident. ABC News, among other local news outlets, reported three deaths and “at least” 11 injuries related to the accident.

A spokesman for the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in nearby Burlington, Mass., told Automotive News the hospital is tending to four victims. He declined to reveal their conditions.

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“All evidence and information at this time suggests an accidental cause,” the state police statement said.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police declined to comment beyond the statements it released. Voicemails left for the Billerica Police Department and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office were not returned. Lynnway could not be reached for comment.

“We are very saddened by today’s events at the auction. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the individuals and families affected,” Lynnway said in a post on its Facebook page.

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‘Avoided the cars’

A witness told WCVB-TV in Massachusetts that a Jeep Cherokee suddenly accelerated in one of the auction lanes and hit several people before crashing through the building.

The driver “avoided the cars and went on to hit the people who were standing between the cars,” Woody Tuttle, an employee at Lynnway, told the station. “Three [men] were on the ground being tended to. There was a woman who was crying, but she was standing up, and I saw two men on the ground who appeared to be dead.”

Another witness told WCVB that the vehicle was traveling at speeds as high as 40 mph.

“We heard a bang or an explosion. It was almost like a bomb,” Randy Miller, an auction attendee, told the station. “The whole place just went silent. There were people just lying on the ground — a horrific, crazy, tragic situation.”

Lynnway is a member of the National Auto Auction Association, according to its website. NAAA declined immediate comment, saying it had just learned of the incident and was gathering information.

Crash at Massachusetts auto auction kills at least two” originally appeared on Automotive News on 5/3/17.



By John Irwin at Automotive News

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