Driver in Fatal Auction Crash Had Licence Suspended Since 2012, Issues Apology

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The elderly man who drove the SUV involved in a crash that resulted in three deaths at a Massachusetts auto auction last Wednesday hasn’t held valid driving credentials in several years. Apparently, the 76-year-old man — whose name remains withheld — had his license suspended in 2012 after numerous incidents a year earlier, including impeding traffic, missing inspection stickers, and a license plate violation. It was never reinstated. His driving record also shows seven other accidents dating back to 1987 and license suspensions on four separate occasions.

Lynnway Auto Auction released a statement after his driving history became public. “We were unaware of the change in status of the driver’s license until the police told us after the accident,” explained Lynnway president Jim Lamb. “When we hired him in 2010, he had a valid Massachusetts driver’s license. As he has had no issues while driving for Lynnway for the past seven years, we were surprised and upset to learn this development.”

The driver issued a public apology in a television interview with WCVB-TV. “I didn’t want it to happen,” he said. “I’m not happy that it happened, and I’m sorry about it.”

“I want the families to know that I didn’t intentionally try and hurt anybody,” he said. “I tried very hard to miss everybody.”

Lynnway has been careful to state that it’s the responsibility of a driver to inform the company when the status of their license has changed. It also clarified that no driver is allowed to operate on the property unless they have a valid license. While federal and state regulations require employers to conduct driving record checks on potential employee drivers with a commercial license, one would have hoped Lynnway checked the driving history of its own employees before hiring them.

[Image: WCBV Channel 5]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on May 09, 2017

    My 97 year old aunt in Texas still has her DL. Even though she can't turn her head, and has averaged at least 1 accident a year, they still let her drive. We finally convinced her to stop driving after her last accident landed her in the hospital for 3 months and send another victim to the hospital. That victim is now suing the shit out of my aunt. And she still has her car in her driveway. *sigh*.


    ATTENTION ALL EMPLOYERS - in most States you can run Motor Vehicle Reports on your employees to make sure that they have valid licenses, and find out how many points they have accumulated over what period. You will be held responsible for accidents caused by your employees - even if they are driving around on lunch break - since you probably have deeper pockets (and more insurance) than your staff will have. This should be followed even if you don't have company cars - employees using their own vehicles may expect the company to cover their business-related use. And while your insurance company might ask for a drivers' list at renewal, they normally don't ask for lists when companies only get Hired and Non-Owned vehicle coverage - making the employer the gatekeeper. I tell this to ALL my clients whose Auto Liability coverage I arrange - as well as scheduling the Auto policy on their Umbrella policy - because there is NO NEED to get screwed up by a lack of diligence. Anyone need help? TM me...somehow...

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