A man was fatally crushed by a 1944 M5 World War II tank last Saturday in Fairfield, California. The accident happened at the home of Herman Rowland, Sr., the chairman of Jelly Belly. The tank, which is owned by Herman, was being driven by the husband of Jelly Belly CEO Lisa Rowland Brasher. The incident happened during a family reunion being held on the property, at approximately 2:25 p.m.
Jelly Belly Chairman Is an Avid Tank Collector
Herman is an avid collector of military tanks, which he restores on his property and keeps in a facility called "The Tank Barn." While the 62-year-old husband of Herman's daughter was operating the tank it rolled over the top of the victim, 54-year-old Kevin Wright from Suisun City, California, and crushed him to death.
Following the horrific event, the Jelly Belly chairman made a statement, saying that the man who died in the accident was someone with whom he shared a love of history, that he was always willing to help out and that he was a passionate individual. Herman said it was impossible to comprehend that this man was killed at his family reunion and they are all in shock from the incident.
Man Was Riding on the Front Edge of the Tank
The man was riding as a passenger in the tank when the accident happened. He was sitting on the vehicle's front edge, but when the tank hit a dirt road he fell to the ground in front of it and was crushed.
California Highway Patrol officials believe that it was a genuine accident and no alcohol or drugs were involved. Still, the unfortunate incident could give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the decision to pursue such a suit is a personal one and considering the closeness of the people involved, the family of the deceased man may or may not wish to file a wrongful death action. The Jelly Belly chairman did make a commitment to the man's family, saying, "We will do everything in our power to help them get through this enormous loss ... Many of my family members have been inconsolable since the accident. There are no words to describe the grief we are experiencing."
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