SUV suddenly takes off, crashes during auto auction; 3 dead

Three people are dead and over a dozen injured after a Jeep sped through a crowd at a Billerica auto auction

At least three people are dead and several people are injured after a vehicle crashed into a Billerica, Massachusetts, auto auction Wednesday morning. Three people were killed and nine more were injured, two of whom had injuries classified as life-threatening, according to the report.

"The preliminary information we have right now suggests that this is a tragic accident", Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan told reporters. The Massachusetts State Police said in a statement, "There is no evidence or information to suggest the incident was caused by an intentional or terrorist act".

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.

Eight other people hurt in the crash were treated at the hospital and released, while a 55-year-old man remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

The vehicle was waiting to enter the auction but suddenly sped up and crashed into the building.

The Jeep was among hundreds of vehicles that were being displayed as part of the auction that routinely draws hundreds of people, Ryan said. I saw two people that were dead - one person was getting resuscitation and it didn't work, and they put a sheet on her body.

Aponte, a mother of three from Lowell, was working a temporary job at the Billerica business to pay for her daughter's quinceanera.

More news: (CHK) Releases Earnings Results, Beats Expectations By $0.04 EPS

The auction worker driving the vehicle was a man in his 70s. Only auction employees are allowed to drive vehicles on the auction site.

The driver of the Jeep was alert and talking to police after the crash, officials said. Kyazze thought a building had collapsed, but when they turned around, they saw a black Jeep that had crashed through a concrete wall.

The auction company said in a posting on its Facebook, "We are very saddened by today's events at the auction".

The driver was not taken to hospital, she added.

Investigators said they don't know yet exactly what caused the driver to accelerate.

State police assisted the Billerica Police and Fire Departments on scene with crash reconstruction and crime scene teams, as well as detectives from the district attorney's office.

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