HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — A road in Copenhaver Park in Harford County has been named “Tripp Johnson Way” to honor a Joppa boy who died in a car crash nearly three years ago.
Tripp Johnson, 7, was killed in March 2019 when a tractor trailer hit more than 10 cars at the intersection of Route 24 and Ring Factory Road in Bel-Air.
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The crash also claimed the life of local ShopRite president Andrew Klein.
Earlier this year, the driver of the tractor trailer involved in the crash was acquitted of all charges.
“We miss him,” said Debbie Johnson, who is Tripp’s grandmother. “I relive that every day of my life.”
Johnson described Tripp as a kind boy who left an impact on everyone who knew him.
“Tripp was a very special little boy,” she said. “He just beamed. He had an aura around him.”
Tripp was a second grader at William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary. Krystal O’Leary said she keeps a picture of him at her desk.
“He was the type of person that a lot of us adults could learn to be,” she said.
He also played football at Coppenhaver Park for the Joppatowne Seahawks.
On Friday, Harford County named a road at the park “Tripp Johnson Way” to help keep his memory alive.
Tripp’s grandmother called it a special moment.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Joppatowne Lions Club thought of the idea to honor Tripp shortly after the crash.
Rich Bennett, who is the president of the Joppatowne Lions Club, said it didn’t take long for the county to approve it.
Bennett said “Tripp Johnson Way” is more than a street sign. He said he also hopes it inspires people to be selfless and kind like Tripp.
“People pull in here off the road, and they’re coming up the Tripp Johnson Way to the football field and I’m hoping these kids play football the Tripp Johnson way,” Bennett said. “Being kind and he was kind. So, if people can do that I’m looking at that as being the Tripp Johnson way as well.”