BILLERICA, Mass. — Three people are dead and another nine people are injured after a car crashed through a busy Billerica auto auction Wednesday morning.
Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said that one man and two women are dead. Of the nine injured, eight suffered serious injuries and one has life threatening injuries. A relative of a deceased victim was also taken to the hospital for stress.
"It appears to be a tragic accident, but it is early in the investigation," said Ryan.
The Lahey Hospital in Burlington confirmed they treated four people from the crash, with two in critical condition and one in stable condition. Lowell General confirmed they also treated four patients, three of whom have been released.
"Timing means a lot in trauma - getting in to a trauma center quickly," said Dr. Casper Reske-Nielsen with the Lahey Clinic.
The crash happened around 10:15 a.m. at 400 Charter Way in Billerica at the Lynnway Auto Auction. Ryan said there were several hundred people at the auction, which started at 8:30 a.m. like it does every week.
The building has several red viewing lanes and blue safety lanes, and employees drive the cars down the viewing lanes for people to see. Only employees are allowed to drive the vehicles, said Ryan.
#BREAKING: Driver of jeep who caused crash was an employee at the Lynnway Auto Auction in Billerica #boston25 @boston25— Caitlin McLaughlin (@caitemclaughlin) May 3, 2017
Witnesses told Boston 25 News that a driver was taking a Jeep Cherokee out for viewing when he had what appeared to be a medical emergency and shot through the building, hitting several people. The driver came to a stop when the Jeep crashed through a cement wall.
"He went through the door, went through the lane of people, and then through the building...He was going fast, he was going really fast," said the witness.
State Police said there is no evidence of an attack or that this was intentional in any way.
"We are heartbroken that this accident occurred at our premises with a vehicle driven by one of our drivers. Understandably, the driver is very distraught; he will not be driving cars at the auction until the investigation has concluded," a statement from the president of the auction said in part.
A witness said he thought the driver was going about 25 to 35 mph. Ryan confirmed the driver was in his 70s and was not hospitalized.
Seeing multiple ambulances leaving Lynnway auto auction, chaotic scene @boston25 pic.twitter.com/rZkKCCcwaf— Kathryn Burcham (@kathrynburcham) May 3, 2017
One witness said it was extremely frightening and they left in shock from what they saw. Others described it as a "war zone," with many injured and bloody.
Four officers and one firefighter were on scene working detail, which is typical for the auto auctions. Billerica Fire Chief Tom Conway said there was a very fast response because of that.
Three people are confirmed dead and another nine injured after a Jeep drove through and crashed at the Lynnway Auto Auction. One witness, a veteran, told us that it was worse than anything he had ever seen while serving our country. Continuing coverage: fox25boston.com/live-breaking Details: boston25.com/BillericaCrashPosted by Boston 25 News on Wednesday, May 3, 2017
"He was able to radio in a quick update...as he evaluated," Conway said in regards to the firefighter on the scene.
The chief said they train for mass casualty incidents like this and set up triage.
Ryan said that there is still a lot to investigate regarding the situation and said it will be "lengthy."
Boston 25 New will stay on this story - the newest information at 4 p.m.
#BREAKING: Source tells me 4 ppl are getting CPR after vehicle crashes into Billerica auto auction, & many more injured. @boston25 #Boston25— Heather Hegedus (@HeatherHegedus) May 3, 2017
PHOTOS: Car crashes into Lynnway Auto Auction
RELATED: Billerica auto auction company had serious OSHA violations in 2014
WARNING: Some of these photos contain graphic material.
MSP sending crash reconstruction, crime scene teams, as well as MSP detectives from DA's office to Charter Way, Billerica. 1 of 2— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) May 3, 2017
Reported crash involves vehicle at auto auction site. Multiple victims reported. We are assisting Billerica Police, who are primary. 2 of 2 https://t.co/g5pM4mVqHw— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) May 3, 2017
Crash at auto auction in #Billerica. Multiple victims reported, per officials. #Breaking #Boston25 pic.twitter.com/lhXqyBX4Lm— Tim Martin (@TMar15) May 3, 2017
Have now seen at least 7 ambulances leaving auto auction with lights and sirens— Kathryn Burcham (@kathrynburcham) May 3, 2017
Shocking image from inside auto auction @boston25 pic.twitter.com/NUZBjRdzOr— Kathryn Burcham (@kathrynburcham) May 3, 2017
New image from crash aftermath from witness who didn't want to give his name @boston25 pic.twitter.com/Xo1AYusuPX— Kathryn Burcham (@kathrynburcham) May 3, 2017
Photo from the crash at the Lynnway Auto Auction. Multiple victims. https://t.co/7TswzNMTqc pic.twitter.com/pQj73th2UR— Boston 25 News (@boston25) May 3, 2017
Witness says he believes the driver worked for the auction @boston25— Kathryn Burcham (@kathrynburcham) May 3, 2017
#UPDATE: 6 patients brought to Lahey Hospital in Burlington, per hospital. No word on conditions at this time. #Boston25— Tim Martin (@TMar15) May 3, 2017
#DEVELOPING #BILLERICA Witnesses: 2-3 killed, 7-12 maybe more injuries in Auto Auction crash. Officials: some fatalities, 6 injured at Lahey pic.twitter.com/0v93C38Otl— Crystal Haynes (@crystalhaynes) May 3, 2017
Boston 25 News Live Stream
WATCH LIVE: Multiple injuries reported after vehicle crashes into Billerica auto auctionPosted by Boston 25 News on Wednesday, May 3, 2017
I spoke briefly with a Lynnway employee who was going into work who tells me "there are barriers in place, it's usually slow." @boston25 pic.twitter.com/4I8G0U9HWt— Heather Hegedus (@HeatherHegedus) May 3, 2017
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