BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — A preliminary investigation by the Maryland State Police reveals that alcohol or drugs do not appear to have played a factor in Monday’s fatal Harford County crash.
When the investigation is finished, police will turn over any and all findings to the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office who will determine what, if any charges, will be filed.
Two people were killed, including a 7-year-old boy, in the 12-vehicle crash Monday morning in Bel Air.
Maryland State Police identified the dead as 7-year-old Tripp Johnson of Joppa and 65-year-old Andrew Klein of Forest Hill. Five others were injured in the crash.
Police said in the initial investigation they learned a tractor-trailer was traveling south on Route 24 north of Ring Factory Road, when the truck driver failed to stop and collided with several vehicles who were stopped due to a backup at the intersection.
The tractor-trailer, carrying cargo for ShopRite grocery stores, finally came to rest at the intersection before catching fire with two cars still pinned underneath it.
“He’s always going to be remembered as a child that just completely brightened your day,” said Tammy Bosley, William Paca Old Post Road Elementary School principal.
Johnson was an elementary school student, pictures show Johnson smiling in his rec football uniform.
“Tripp loved to hug. He had a smile that just lit up a room,” Principal Bosley said.
The other victim was a well-known businessman and philanthropist Andrew Klein, killed by the truck of a company he knew well.
The Klein family runs a chain of ShopRite stores in Harford County, where employees said they were waiting for the 65-year-old to show up for work Monday morning, when they heard about the crash.
Klein was well-known for his charitable contributions.
He sat on a hospital board, helped to build a hospice facility and pushed for a crisis hotline.
Friends said his loss is devastating.
“Very generous himself, but also generous about asking other people in the community to step up and stand with him. He always put his money where his mouth is. He was the first one in,” said Jay Young, from Harford County.
Klein’s family has scheduled funeral services, meanwhile, troopers said the crash is still under investigation.
This story is developing. Continue to stay with WJZ for the latest.