The president of a Massachusetts auto auction has been charged with five counts of manslaughter after a 2017 auction-lane accident that killed five people.
Indictments issued Thursday by the Middlesex County District Attorney against James Lamb and Lynnway Auto Auction they are criminally responsible for failing to take appropriate actions that could have prevented the deaths. , a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 77-year-old employee suddenly accelerated, hitting several people before crashing through a cinder block wall. In addition to the five fatalities at the Billerica, Mass., auction, nine people were injured and hospitalized.
Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said the auction company and Lamb were aware of the shortfalls in safety measures in place at the auction and that they failed to ensure that all drivers were licensed and trained. Ryan noted a 2014 incident in which a worker was seriously injured.
A woman answering the phone at Lynnway declined to comment, and voice messages left with auction officials weren’t immediately returned.
Ryan said the operator of the Jeep will not face criminal charges even though he was driving with an expired driver’s license.
No arraignment date for Lamb has been scheduled, the district attorney’s office said.
The crash was investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Billerica Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.