Two of three victims in fatal Billerica crash identified as Rhode Islanders

A vehicle suddenly accelerated at an auto auction in Billerica, Mass., killing three people. (WBTS)

Two Rhode Islanders were among the three people killed in a crash at an auto auction in Billerica, Massachusetts.

Brenda Lopez, 48, of Providence, and 49-year-old Pantaleon Santos, of Cumberland, died when a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee smashed through a wall at LynnWay Auto Auction Wednesday morning.

Authorities said a 70-year-old worker accelerated through the cinder block wall. They are trying to determine what went wrong, but said the crash does not appear to have been intentional.

Nine other people were hurt, one of them seriously.

“My mom was god fearing. She was our rock,” Lopez’s son, Richard Meza-Lopez, told NBC 10 News.

He said Lopez regularly went to auto auctions for a family car business.

“My father was there, but he was in the restroom when the incident occurred,” he said.

Santos was part of the business, too, and a family friend.

Lopez, who was originally from Guatemala, lived in Providence for more than 25 years.

“She always had a positive outlook on things,” said Meza-Lopez, the oldest of her four children.

The youngest is 18. “It breaks my heart because she was going to graduate from high school in a couple of weeks. And we were all supposed to go to the graduation.”

Now, they want to carry on their mother’s legacy.

“I just want to make her proud,” Meza-Lopez told NBC10. “I want to live my life to honor her memory.”

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