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More Details Emerge About Driver in Fatal Auction Accident

More Details Emerge About Driver in Fatal Auction Accident Featured

Two more people have died following a crash at Lynnway Auto Auction as details emerge about the driver involved.

Ruben Espaillat died May 13 at Lahey Hospital. Elliott Rowlands Jr., died May 10 at Lahey.

Three people - Brenda Lopez, and Pantaleon Santos and Leezandra Aponte - died at the scene.

The accident occurred May 3 during a weekly sale when a 76-year-old auction employee accelerated a 2006 Jeep he was driving through the cinder block wall of the arena, striking multiple individuals.

More details are coming out about the driver, including that his license had been suspended and he has had numerous driving issues.

In addition to those killed, four people were hospitalized and three were transported to area hospitals, treated and released.

Lynnway owner Jim Lamb said he learned the driver’s license was suspended when police told him after the crash.

Lamb said the driver presented a valid license when he was hired in 2010.

"As he had no issues while driving for Lynnway for the past seven years, we were surprised and upset to learn of this development," Lamb said. "We hold our drivers to a high standard. If a driver loses the ability to drive in Massachusetts for any reason, we would expect them to inform us and we would not allow them to drive on our property unless they hold a valid driver's license."

According to press reports, the driver had seven accidents dating back to 1987 and his license was suspended at least four other times.

The driver told a local television station that the Jeep he was driving suddenly accelerated.

An investigation continues, with the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, the Billerica Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police CARS unit involved.

The Massachusetts Independent Auto Dealers Association will be collecting donations on behalf of all the families involved in the accident. So far, the group has raised $22,275 with a goal of $100,000. Donors include several auctions, auction personnel and NextGear Capital.

In addition, the National Auto Auction Association donated $25,000.


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Read 1075 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 May 2017 01:05
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