Middlesex DA: 5th victim in Billerica auto auction crash dies

BILLERICA, MASS. (WHDH) - Officials have confirmed that a fifth person has died following injuries sustained at the LynnWay Auto Auction crash in Billerica.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Billerica Chief of Police Daniel Rosa announced that Ruben Espaillat, 55 of Methuen, died at Lahey Hospital on Saturday.

Elliot Rowlands Jr., 50 of Buzzards Bay, died from injuries sustained in the crash on Wednesday.

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 investigation is ongoing.

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