Investigation seeks cause of fatal Loudoun crash

LEESBURG, Va. — Investigators are still trying to determine why a food truck crashed into a car earlier this month, killing an Ashburn mother and injuring her three children.

Erin Kaplan, 39, was killed Sept. 8 in the wreck on Evergreen Mills Road. Two daughters and a son were hospitalized. Four others were injured.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said witnesses at the scene said the driver of the food truck — a converted school bus — ran a stop sign on Watson Road and crashed into Kaplan’s vehicle.

A Facebook group called “Make Evergreen Mills Road Safe” is trying to raise awareness of the dangers of the mostly two-lane unlit road, which at times has a posted speed limit of 55 mph.

The Watson Road approach to Evergreen Mills comes quickly after a blind turn, on a downward hill, with little warning of a stop sign.

Kaplan was driving north on Evergreen Mills Road — the speed limit approaching Watson Road is 35 mph.

The group is hoping to assemble a citizens task force including representatives from neighborhoods on or along Evergreen Mills Road.

A spokesman with the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office says the crash is still under investigation, and it’s not known yet whether any charges will be filed.

Troxell said the food truck was tested last weekend to determine whether it had any mechanical issues.

Soon after the fatal crash, a GoFund Me page was established to pay for family funeral and medical expenses. More than $90,000 has been raised, surpassing the page’s $50,000 goal.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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