Vehicle strikes people at Chicago auto auction

March 19, 2008 1:47:07 PM PDT
An out-of-control sport utility vehicle plowed into crowds at a suburban Chicago auto auction Wednesday, injuring at least a dozen people. Three were critically hurt. The vehicle was inside the Tri-State Auto Auction building in Crestwood when it suddenly sped up, struck a group of people and hit a minivan. It then drove out a doorway and plowed into another cluster of people, a witness told the Chicago Tribune.

"People were screaming, moaning, laying on the ground," said auction shopper Tom Schroeder, who said he was standing 20 feet from the scene. "Employees were running around telling people not to move."

Crestwood fire Lt. Christopher Burke said the accident happened about 11:45 a.m. Victims were taken to hospitals.

Police are investigating what caused the vehicle to go out of control. Police took the driver to the police department for questioning, Crestwood fire Capt. Kevin McAuliffe told the Tribune.

A woman who answered the phone at the auction house early Wednesday afternoon said the business was "not giving out any information right now." The company's Web site shows a large, open auction site where bidders can walk around among vehicles for sale.

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