Man dies after being hit by tank at Jelly Belly chairman's California property

California highway officials say the individual had been riding on the front of the tank but fell in front of it as it travelled down a hill

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The Independent US

A man has died after being run over by a Second World War-era tank during a family reunion at a California property owned by the chairman of Jelly Belly Candy Co.

The California Highway Patrol said Kevin Wright, 54, had been riding on the front of the tank when he lost his balance and fell in front of the vehicle as it travelled down a hill.

The property where the incident occurred is in Fairfield, about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco.

It belongs to Herman Rowland, the chairman of Jelly Belly, the company known for its wide variety of jelly beans, according to family spokeswoman Holly Carter.

Carter said the tank's driver, 62-year-old Dwayne Brasher, is married to Lisa Rowland Brasher, who is Rowland's daughter and the current Jelly Belly chief executive officer.

"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 there was no evidence that drugs or alcohol had played a part in the incident.

The Rowland family said it was assisting officials in the investigation and was seeking to provide "intensive counselling" services to those who witnessed the event.

Carter said about 50 people, including children, were in attendance.

The tank was reportedly a 1944 model M5.

Additional reporting by agencies.