The operators of the Lynnway Auto Auction in Billerica, Mass., have decided that the show must go on.
Seven days after the weekly auto auction descended into chaos when an employee drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee into a crowd of attendees – killing three people and injuring nine others – Lynnway Auto Auction held its Wednesday event.
Prior to the weekly auction, Lynnway management announced that a prayer service would take place at 8:15 a.m., and the auction would begin immediately afterward.
Although Lynnway initially said the public was welcome to attend, the auto auction decided to restrict the event to licensed car dealers only, turning away media members and others, according to news reports.
Lynnway will conduct a prayer service Wed. May 10 starting at 8:15 am. Auction will start at 8:30. Licensed dealers only may attend.
— Lynnway Auto Auction (@LWAA1) May 9, 2017
In the wake of the fatal accident, local media outlets reported that Lynnway has promised to install safety barriers to ensure that vehicles stay in their lanes.
Meanwhile, the Lowell Sun reported that the driver of the 2006 Grand Cherokee was 76-year-old Roger Hartwell of Quincy, Mass.
Hartwell, whose license had expired, told Boston 25 News that the vehicle suddenly accelerated “by itself” as he was approaching the building.
“As far as I was concerned, I was driving a defective vehicle,” he told Boston 25 News.
Hartwell isn’t facing any charges at the moment.