BILLERICA (CBS) – The man behind the wheel in a deadly crash at a crowded Billerica car auction on Wednesday had a suspended license, police have told the auction organizers.
The driver who killed three people and injured nine in an apparent accident at Lynnway Auto Auction has not yet been identified.
“We were unaware of the change in status of the driver’s license until the police told us after the accident,” said Lynnway Auto Auction president Jim Lamb. “When we hired him in 2010, he had a valid Massachusetts driver’s license. As he has had no issues while driving for Lynnway for the past seven years, we were surprised and upset to learn of this development.”
Lamb added that any driver whose license status has changed is expected to inform the company.
No driver is allowed to operate on the property unless they have a valid license, Lamb said.
The investigation into what caused the crash is still ongoing, but police do not believe it was intentional.
On Friday, first responders spoke out about the extraordinarily stressful situation of tending to the injured and dealing with the crowd.
“What I heard was an explosion, that’s what I thought until I went out of the building and saw a huge hole with a car through it and there were bodies,” said Billerica Police Officer Michelle Glavin who was on a detail at the auction.
They had to assess the chaos and then jump into action.
“The fire department was worried about the structure of the building, we were worried about a vehicle still in gear on top of somebody, it was absolute chaos,” said Glavin.
It’s a job they train for every day, but they were frustrated they by many in the crowd who were more concerned with taking cellphone video of the scene than helping.
“It’s difficult, people screaming there’s an ambulance, and we’re waiting for the ambulance and we can’t get anybody out of the way,” said Glavin.
Billerica police detective Ed Peterson urged people to take a step back with their phones.
“If that was you or a member of your family on the other side of the camera, is it something you’d want on the internet or something on the news that’s not controlled?” said Peterson.
They are heartbroken by the lives that were lost, but officer Ivonne Osgood believes she saved one through CPR.
“If he survives and does well, it makes me feel like I did my job.”
Officers also praised an auto auction worker who was also a nurse and was able to assist.