4th victim of Billerica auto auction crash dies

BILLERICA, Mass. (WPRI) — Another person injured in last week’s crash inside an auto auction in Billerica, Massachusetts has died – bringing the death toll to four, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan confirmed.

Ryan and Billerica Police Chief Daniel Rosa said Elliott Rowlands, 50, of Buzzards Bay died Wednesday at Lahey Clinic from injuries sustained in the May 3 crash.

For the first time since an SUV accelerated and hit several people, the indoor automobile auction reopened Wednesday.

LynnWay Auto Auction said in a statement Tuesday that a private prayer service would be held before the auction at the Billerica facility on Wednesday.

Eight other people were injured on May 3 when the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee apparently lurched out of control, striking people before crashing through a wall.

Authorities said Brenda Lopez and Pantaleon Santos, both of Rhode Island, were pronounced dead at the scene. Leezandra Aponte, of Lowell, died after being taken to the hospital after the crash.

Investigators don’t believe the crash was intentional.

LynnWay President Jim Lamb said Friday that the employee in his 70s who was behind the wheel had a suspended license.