Community mourns after beloved business owner killed in Hwy 99 pileup

A beloved business owner and Camp Fire survivor from Paradise was among those killed in a weekend pileup on Highway 99 near Gridley. Action News Now Kristian Lopez shares how the ridge community is mourning the loss.

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 4:52 PM

PARADISE, Calif. – “We've lost somebody, like a guardian angel for our community,” said Linda Schooling, a friend of the victim.

Linda Schooling says she will never forget how Rajput, also known as Andy, was there for them during the Camp Fire.

“He just did things for the community to help us,” said Schooling. “I needed gas and propane that was the only place in Paradise that was open. He kept the pumps open for us and later got a generator so he could keep the pumps on for us.”

Family members say Rajput, a Camp Fire survivor, and beloved gas station owner from Paradise is among the victims of Saturday’s multi-vehicle crash on Highway 99. He owned "Stop & Shop" located in Paradise.

His son, Vic Singh who did not want to talk on camera told Action News Now his dad died a hero. He was struck by a car while trying to help another crash victim who was trapped.

The family lost their home during the Camp Fire and has been staying in Live Oak while it was being rebuilt.

Singh says his father was heading to Live Oak after working a late shift at the family’s gas station in Paradise. But never made it home.

Schooling says the impact Rajput had on the Paradise community will never be forgotten.

“That support was there for us and him doing that out of the kindness of his heart made him a pretty special person,” shared Schooling.

Vic Singh says what he wants people to remember most about his father is his kindness towards others.

Rajput is survived by his wife and five kids. The family’s home in Paradise is almost done being rebuilt. They plan to move back in just a couple of months.

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A cold front has moved over northern California on this day before Thanksgiving, and it brought light rain and snow showers to the higher terrain, gusty wind and cooler air for all. Thanksgiving will still be breezy, but also mild and pleasant.
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