By on May 5, 2017


Three people were killed and at least nine others injured on Wednesday when a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee suddenly accelerated into a crowd of customers at an auto auction in Billerica, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. Driven by a LynnWay Auto Auction employee, the SUV impacted attendees and proceeded to crash through a concrete exterior wall.

Massachusetts State Police issued a tweet Friday, stating, “At this point, there is no evidence or information to suggest the incident was caused by an intentional or terrorist act. All evidence and information at this time suggests an accidental cause.” It is, however, continuing its investigation into what exactly caused the accident. 

After the incident, local police and fire chiefs issued a joint statement describing the event as a mass casualty incident, citing response protocol. Law enforcement also released the names of the victims and indicated two other attendees remained in critical condition.

WCBV5 reports the auto auction company will increase safety precautions at the facility.

“We will be installing barriers, or ‘bollards,’ to help keep vehicles from veering out of their intended lane. Sturdy, vertical posts, bollards are frequently used on highways to control road traffic and will provide additional protection for our patrons and everyone working at the auction,” Lynnway Auto Auction President Jim Lamb said in a statement.

The employee behind the wheel, a man in his 70s, was not severely injured and was taken to hospital only as a precautionary measure.


[Images: WCBV Channel 5]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

26 Comments on “Safety Precautions on Way After Jeep Drives Into Auction Crowd, Killing Three...”

  • avatar
    tod stiles

    Well I’m really glad they worked the terrorist angle in there.

    “The employee behind the wheel, a man in his 70s,”
    umm, yeah.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m more afraid of people tethered to their phones than a terrorist of any nationality. More fear mongering.

    • 0 avatar

      The driver in the incident had a suspended license. Not sure why it was suspended.

      @brettc: Speaking of cell phones…

      “It’s a job they train for every day, but they were frustrated they by many in the crowd who were more concerned with taking cellphone video of the scene than helping.”

      • 0 avatar

        Yup: A customer suffered an apparent heart attack while eating at the grill. (The) owner called 9-1-1 and the customer was taken to the hospital. Reportedly patrons thought it was a stunt and started taking photos.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure it took the retards no more than 48 hours to rule out “terrorist act”.

      Cops love to remind us we’re in constant “Level Orange” and we never know when the next terrorist act on US Soil will go down.

      So I love reminding my cop friends, Americans are 55 times more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist.

  • avatar

    Yes, a terrorist would try to crash their way *out* of a building full of people.

  • avatar

    The Jeep didn’t drive into the auction crowd.

    Way to go, clickbait.

    Maybe you should have gone all the way with the headline: “This Jeep drove through an auto auction, and what happened next will blow your mind.”

    • 0 avatar

      Heh, and be sure to make it into a slideshow format which takes 20 seconds to get to the next slide as the website frantically jams tracking cookies into your computer. Well, wait, TTAC already does that actually. So we really just need the slide show.

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    Unintended acceleration…

  • avatar

    I assume that this means JB’s wife won’t be attending any auto auctions in the future!

  • avatar

    Few years ago I worked at an auto auction when I was between jobs. Most of the auction drivers were older retired guys who wanted to get out of the house for a few hours a couple of times a week. Most were fine, but there were a few that were out to lunch and probably shouldn’t have been driving, let alone through a building with dealers not paying attention or getting in fights etc. Add in a wide variety of vehicles and many that weren’t in the best of repair and I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Counting down to monostatic shifter being blamed in 3.. 2… 1…

  • avatar

    Do you need a license to drive on private property in MA?

    • 0 avatar

      No, but sometimes they suspend due to medical conditions that impact someones ability to drive. So far, I haven’t seen any reports as to why the license was suspended. The driver says he didn’t realize it was suspended. Also, he (insert drum roll) blames the car.

      • 0 avatar

        The last time I heard a statement from the 70yr old driver, he thinks he was sent a driver license renewal notice, and it got buried, he says, under other mail. I don’t think his license was suspended for cause other than he somehow ignored the renewal notice.

        A little more troubling item to me is the statement from WGBH television host Jim Braude( who’s 68 himself) that called for road testing drivers once they turn 70 in Massachusetts. This is an action best judged by the 70 year old family members kin, those that have experienced their driving first hand. I know each person’s ability to drive varies somewhat at 70, but generally is somewhat early for roadtesting to keep their license, I feel. Finally, I would hope to find out from investigators what the precise cause was for this Jeep Grand Cherokee lurching forward at speed.

        • 0 avatar

          Reason #56324 that self driving cars are a good idea. Current old folks are causing enough wrecks as it is. Wait for the baby boomers to get old enough to be unable to drive (but insist on driving anyway).

  • avatar

    Reminds me of when all those Toyotas were going crazy. Turns out the cars could sense the age of the driver and mostly tried to kill the elderly. Apparently defective cars are big fans of Logan’s Run.

    The police are being really nice so far. That old guy killed three people by getting stomping on the gas thinking it was the brake and freezing up. Wonder if they’ll soft peddle it spare his feelings.

  • avatar

    This is why I never go to auto auctions.

  • avatar

    I’d bet a beer that he was driving with two feet. One on the gas, one on the brake. Add in a little old age confusion and auction excitement – and disaster!

    He’s pressing the brake (gas) as hard as he can and it just won’t stop….

    Late in my grandfather’s life he did not have alot of feeling left in his feet and his legs were weaker so I noticed he would drive with both feet on a pedal.

    That didn’t turn out well b/c he rear ended a truck in stop and go traffic. No damage other than a scuffed bumper but he complained the brakes on his Chevy sedan failed.

    About ten years before I had worked on his Buick after those brakes had gone “bad” too (no accident just no brake boost) but that was a failed check valve in the brake booster vacuum line. $10 later and it was fixed.

    I drove the Chevy and was able to slide the tires on dry pavement. Only then did he admit what he was doing (two feet).

    Now when I see one elderly person accelerating away from a stop light or stop sign with the brake lights flickering, I know why – their left foot is touching the brake pedal while their right foot presses on the gas… Give ’em space folks!

    All these relatives were attached to a suburban lifestyle that required a car to function – beyond when they could no longer safely drive. We gently pulled their keys when we could.

  • avatar

    What frustrates me most is that according to Boston25 (Massachusetts watered down Fox News) the guy had a suspended licience.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jalop1991: “EVs are improving every year (every month, actually), as is charging infrastructure.”...
  • Tachyon: Living in SoCal, the dirty little secret is that “outside the Tesla ecosystem” Public Charging...
  • EX35: Meh. The one I drove was mediocre and seemed overpriced for what it was. H/K just doesn’t have the value they...
  • Jeff S: I have mentioned the pitfalls of EVs with range, cost, and infrastructure before. Those are givens and those...
  • sumgai1986: If you take this car for what it is, and try not to make it too much more, it is an absolutely wonderful...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber