The incident occurred at Lynnway Auto Auction in Billerica, Mass. shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Hundreds of people were gathered inside the building for an auto auction when a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee sped through the crowd. One man and two women were killed and nine people were injured, some critically. Four of the injured were transported to Lahey Hospital, while others are being treated at other hospitals in the area.

Jeep Cherokee crash believed to be accidental

According to a news conference given by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, police believe the incident was accidental.

According to Ryan, vehicles were being driven into the building by employees for potential buyers at the auto auction to view. The Jeep was one of these vehicles, but she said it traveled through the building at a high rate of speed. The vehicle only stopped when it hit a cinderblock wall, crashing right through to the outside of the building.

Ryan stressed that it is still a “very active scene,” saying the investigation is ongoing. The driver of that vehicle is said to be in his 70s and an employee of the company, but so far officials do not know what caused the accident. The driver was not among the victims hospitalized. Billerica Police Chief Daniel Rosa said it was a “very tragic accident,” adding that it was a chaotic and large scene with many bystanders.

Massachusetts State Police said no evidence of a terrorist act

As reported by CBS, the Massachusetts State Police said in a statement that at this stage, there is no evidence that points to the incident being intentional or a terrorist act. The information and evidence they have gathered so far points to an accidental cause.

Officials have sent detectives and a crash reconstruction team to assist the Billerica Police Department in their investigation. According to Billerica Fire Chief Thomas Conway, with the amount of people attending the auction, it could have been much worse.

According to officials, their investigation is centering around whether there was a mechanical failure, or if the driver suffered a medical emergency.

WBZ-TV interviewed a witness at the scene, who gave his name only as Geraldo. He said he was inside the building when the incident happened and saw the Jeep speeding up as it drove through the crowd. To him, it happened very quickly and appeared to be an accident, as it went right through the building and hit the wall at the end. Other witnesses say the vehicle sped over eight lanes inside the building, with several hundred people inside.

Jeep Cherokee recall for acceleration issues

According to a report by Syracuse.com, CBS spoke to a car dealer, Wissam Merhab, who said he believes the vehicles' gas pedal got stuck, causing it to speed out of control.

He said it is unclear whether the Jeep in question was among several other Jeep Cherokee models that were recalled because of acceleration issues.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!