4th victim in Billerica auto auction crash dies, DA says

BILLERICA, MASS. (WHDH) - A Buzzards Bay man died Wednesday from injuries sustained in a crash last week at the LynnWay Auto Auction in Billerica.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Billerica Chief of Police Daniel Rosa have confirmed Elliot Rowlands Jr., 50, died at Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

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Three others were killed on May 3 when an auction employee crashed a Jeep Grand Cherokee into a group of bidders. Several others suffered serious injuries.

Rhode Island residents Brenda Lopez, 48, and Pantaleon Santos, 49, were pronounced dead at the scene. Another victim, Leezandra Aponte, 36 of Lowell, was transported to Lahey Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Investigators said the employee, identified as a 78-year-old man, lost control of the SUV and drove into a crowd of people at a high rate of speed after mistaking the gas pedal for the brake.

The driver has not been charged and the investigation is ongoing.

LynnWay Auto Auction President Jim Lamb issued a statement Wednesday reading:

“We continue to be shocked and saddened at the loss of life and injuries that occurred as a result of last week’s tragic accident.

At this morning’s service, words of comfort, sympathy and prayer were offered. We want to extend those thoughts to the family of Mr. Rowlands who passed away today from his injuries.  Our prayers and condolences are with them and all of those who have been impacted by the accident.”

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