SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco Bay-area man died after being run over by a World War Two-era tank during a family reunion over the weekend at a property owned by the chairman of Jelly Belly Candy Co, officials and the family said.
The California Highway Patrol said 54-year-old Kevin Wright was riding on the front of the 1944 model M5 tank on Saturday afternoon when he lost his balance and fell in front of the vehicle as it traveled down a hill.
The property in the city of Fairfield, about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, belongs to Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland, according to family spokeswoman Holly Carter.
Carter said the tank’s driver, 62-year-old Dwayne Brasher, is married to Rowland’s daughter and the current Jelly Belly chief executive officer, Lisa Rowland Brasher.
“The gentleman involved in this accident was a passionate person, always ready to lend a hand and we shared the same deep rooted love of history,” Herman Rowland said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the grief we are experiencing.”
Police said neither drugs nor alcohol were believed to have factored into the incident.
The Rowland family said it was assisting officials in the investigation and was seeking to provide “intensive counseling” services to those who witnessed the event.
Carter said about 50 people, including children, were in attendance.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Peter Cooney