5th victim dies after LynnWay Auto Auction crash in Massachusetts

PUBLISHED Sat, May 13, 2017 - 7:45pm EDT
Credit: CBS Boston

A man who was critically injured in the May 3 crash at the LynnWay Auto Auction in Billerica, Massachusetts, has died of his injuries, local officials say, raising the death toll to 5. The victim has been identified as Ruben Espaillat.

Espaillat, of Methuen in Essex County, was seriously injured in the crash and succumbed to his injuries on Saturday at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Billerica Chief of Police Daniel Rosa.

"This remains an active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, the Billerica Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police CARS unit," the Middlesex District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Espaillat's death raises the death toll from the May 3 crash at the LynnWay Auto Auction to five. The fourth victim, 50-year-old Elliott Rowlands Jr. from Buzzards Bay, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.

Investigators believe that the accident happened when 76-year-old driver Roger Hartwell accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, causing his Jeep Cherokee to run over visitors at the auto auction, though Hartwell claims the vehicle accelerated on its own.

  Billerica, MA     





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