Wednesday, a Jeep slammed into a crowd and smashed through a wall at a Massachusetts auto auction site, killing multiple people. Two women and a man died from their injuries, while several others were injured, New York Post reported.
A 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a part-time worker in his 70s was in one of eight lanes at the Lynnway Auto Auction in the town of Billerica, northwest of Boston, when it suddenly accelerated, WCVB said.
Ten other people were injured, two critically and eight seriously, among the roughly 1,500 in attendance.
The incident was not believed to be an intentional act, according to Massachusetts State Police, who said the driver mistook the accelerator pedal for the brake pedal.
"It's pretty bad," witness Andre Fedorov told NBC. "There was a loud noise, everyone started running. Just a car was through the wall, there were people on the ground.
"It was definitely an accident," he added. "It wasn't purposeful."
Auction worker Woody Tuttle said the out-of-control Jeep's driver was trying to avoid hitting other vehicles when it ran into several people standing between the lanes.
"I heard a screeching of tires, and, I believe, a Jeep Cherokee went flying by me. In avoiding the cars, whoever was driving this vehicle hit several people," Tuttle said.
The Jeep then smashed through the side of the building.
"(The driver) avoided the cars, and went on to hit the people who were standing between the cars," Tuttle told WCVB. "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."
Randy Miller, who was attending the auction, said it appeared the Jeep was traveling about 40 mph.
"We heard a bang or an explosion. It was almost like a bomb. The whole place just went silent," Miller said. "There were people just lying on the ground — a horrific, crazy, tragic situation."
Another man at the scene said he saw people on the ground after rushing over.
"In the military, I've seen things like that, but not in civilian life," the man, who declined to give his name, told NECN. "You don't expect to see that in civilian life."
"I was standing right where that car went through," he added. "Thank God I wasn't there."
Six victims were taken to Lahey Hospital in Burlington, a spokeswoman told NBC Boston. Most were in critical condition.
Lowell General Hospital reported that three people were taken to their main campus. There was no immediate word on their conditions.
The business posted a statement on Facebook, which you can check out below:0comments
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[H/T New York Post]