CRUEL FATE: Grocery Store Owner Tragically Killed By Big Rig Hauling His Company’s Freight
Bel Air, Maryland – Two people were killed, including a 7-year-old boy and an owner of ShopRite grocery stores, on Monday after a tractor-trailer hauling goods for ShopRite failed to stop in time at a traffic light and plowed into them.
Maryland State Police identified the dead as 7-year-old Tripp Johnson of Joppa and 65-year-old Andrew Klein of Forest Hill. Officials said 12 vehicles were involved in the accident which happened at the intersection of Route 24 and Ring Factory Road around 7 a.m.
Police said the tractor-trailer, driven by 49-year-old Carloo Watson of Brunswick, N.J., was traveling south when the big rig failed to stop at a traffic light plowing into and then pinning two 4-wheelers underneath the semi. The collision set off a chain reaction crash as multiple vehicles erupted into flames.
Authorities said 6 more people were transported to local hospitals. The extent of their injuries are not yet known.
Investigators have not yet determined why the big rig did not stop.
More from the scene in the video below courtesy of WBAL-TV Baltimore/YouTube.
About The Deceased
Tripp was a student in Harford County Public Schools. The schools released a statement expressing their condolences. It reads in part,
“It is with great sadness that we share the tragic passing of one of our school community. Tripp Johnson was a second grade student at William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School where students and staff who knew him will continue to celebrate his cheerful personality. We ask for the community’s continued understanding and respect as we grieve this tragic loss.”
Klein was one of the owners of Klein Supermarkets, which was founded by his grandparents. It began operating under the ShopRite banner as an affiliate-member in 2009 and is now known as Klein’s ShopRite of Maryland.
In a cruel twist of fate, the tractor-trailer that killed Klein was hauling ShopRite goods.
ShopRite released a statement about Klein which reads in part,
“We are shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic accident that took place in Maryland today and claimed two precious lives, including an eight year old boy and our own beloved ShopRite family member Andrew Klein, President of Klein’s Family Markets.
Our hearts grieve with both families, and on behalf of the Klein family, we ask that the media and those seeking to express their condolences respect the family’s privacy at this time.”
Klein was also a well-known philanthropist for his work in support of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health and the Harford Crisis Center.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan even took to Twitter to extend his condolences to the victims.
Sending prayers to everyone involved in this morning’s devastating accident, including the families and loved ones of the two victims who lost their lives. My deepest gratitude goes to the first responders who rushed to the scene. https://t.co/7NEyjDgEIw
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) March 11, 2019
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the ongoing investigation and bring you any new updates from law enforcement.