FAIRFIELD, Calif. (CN) — A World War II tank ran over and killed a man at a family reunion, his daughters say in a lawsuit against the tank driver and the chairman of the board of the candy company that owned the land where it happened.
Monica and Danielle Wright say their father, Kevin, was their only surviving parent, as their mother died in 2009.
They sued tank driver Dwayne Allen Brasher; Herman Rowland Sr., chairman of the board of the Jelly Belly candy company; and two businesses — but not the candy company — on May 12 in Solano County Court. The Wright sisters’ grandfather George Wright, Kevin’s father, also is a plaintiff.
Defendant Dwayne Brasher is married to Lisa Rowland Brasher, who is CEO of the candy company, and not a party to the lawsuit.
Rowland Sr. owned the property where the accident happened on Aug. 22, 2015, and defendants JR Stearman LLC and the American Armory Museum were co-owners of the tank, the family says in the complaint.
The sisters say the Rowland family often hired their dad on a contract basis and paid him to maintain and move the vintage military vehicles they own and use for special events. Among the tanks their father maintained, they say, was the 1944 Army M5 Stuart light tank that killed him.
The sisters say their father, 54, sat with his back to the front of the tank in a seat with no seatbelt or restraints, and could not see terrain changes as the tank moved forward. When Brasher drove the tank over a berm or hill, the tank bucked and threw their dad forward, and the tank ran him over with its right caterpillar track and killed him.
JR Stearman was one of the nation’s earliest aircraft manufacturers and supplied many of the U.S. military’s training aircraft before World War
The family seeks funeral expenses and damages for wrongful death, negligence, premises liability and failure to provide workers compensation workplace for their father.
No contact information could be found for defendants Brasher, Rowland, JR Stearman or the American Armory Museum in Fairfield.
Herman Rowland St. told the Los Angeles Times after the accident that his family was “grieving over this tragic loss.” Neither drugs nor alcohol were involved, the Times reported.
Attorney Peter W. Alfert, who filed the complaint, could not be reached for comment over the weekend.
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