Metro

SUV plows into crowd at Framingham car auction, injuring 8

The SUV hit an interior cinder block wall.
Walter Meireles
The SUV hit an interior cinder block wall.

FRAMINGHAM — Eight people were injured at a car auction Friday when a luxury SUV abruptly accelerated across a warehouse floor and into a crowd of people before smashing through a cinder block wall.

The runaway BMW sent bystanders scrambling for cover and left a crowd of several hundred people at Adesa Boston’s weekly auction stunned.

“Everybody was screaming,” said Jason El Daccache, who watched the crash unfold. “It was a scary moment. I just hope everyone’s OK.”

Advertisement

Seven people suffered minor injuries, and one person was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening after being run over and dragged beneath the car, police said.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The driver, a 78-year-old man, was not injured.

Witnesses said the car was on display when it suddenly lurched forward, striking several parked cars before crashing into the wall.

“It was just bulldozing through everything,” said Mazen Najjar, who was 10 feet away from the car when it accelerated. “I think he panicked, and the car just kept going. I’m still in shock.”

Najjar said the driver appeared dazed but unharmed after the accident, which happened around 10 a.m. The man, who lives in Framingham, was contracted by the company to drive vehicles.

Advertisement

Framingham police are investigating the crash and reviewing video. No charges have been filed.

Some people who attended the auction, at a Western Avenue warehouse, said they didn’t plan to come back.

“It’s very upsetting,” said Ed Bassuk as he drove out of the large complex. Bassuk said the company should not have unreliable drivers working at auctions, especially given the close quarters and large crowds.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene that unfolded in seconds, shattering the routine of a weekly auction that draws car dealers from across the region.

Lynn Tammaro, who works as a temp for Adesa, said she saw a car “go flying” across the room, trapping a man underneath. She rushed to his side, holding his head in her lap until help arrived.

Advertisement

“He was a little dazed” she said. “It’s pretty overwhelming.”

Another witness, who declined to give his name, said the SUV did not slow down before hitting the wall, suggesting the driver hit the gas instead of the brake.

Police said a tow truck driver who was attending the auction also helped free the victim.

The auction company, Adesa, said it was working closely with authorities to investigate the crash, and it extended condolences to the injured and their families. The company hosts weekly sales at 66 locations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Another view of the car.
Walter Meireles
Another view of the car.

Andy Rosen of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter @globepete.