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Manslaughter charges filed against auto auction where 5 died

March 29, 2019
FILE - This May 3, 2017 file still image taken from video provided by NBC Boston shows wreckage after a vehicle suddenly accelerated at the Lynnway Auto Auction and struck several people before it crashed through a wall of the building in Billerica, Mass. The business and company president James Lamb were each indicted Thursday, March 28, 2019, on five counts of manslaughter in connection with the fatal crash. (NBC Boston via AP, File)

BILLERICA, Mass. (AP) — The operators of a Massachusetts auto auction house where five people died when a vehicle accelerated into a crowd in 2017 are now facing criminal charges.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan says Lynnway Auto Auction and company president James Lamb were indicted Thursday on five counts of manslaughter.

Prosecutors say the company failed to take actions that could have prevented the deaths, such as ensuring that all drivers were properly licensed. The company had been warned previously they shouldn’t employ unlicensed drivers.

But Ryan’s office said the employee who drove the Jeep that killed two Rhode Island residents and three Massachusetts residents and injured seven others won’t face criminal charges even though he had an expired driver’s license.

Lamb and other auction officials didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

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This story has been corrected to show that the indicted came Thursday, not Wednesday.