Local musician struck, killed in Pennsauken

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - August 15, 2012

The victim has been identified as 31-year-old Branden Johnson of Pennsauken. His friends say he was known as "HipStar."

It was just after 11:00 p.m. when Johnson was struck while walking in the left lane of traffic along Route 130 northbound near the intersection at Drexel Avenue.

Investigators closed off the street for hours as they gathered evidence, trying to piece together exactly what happened.

"We're still investigating why the pedestrian was in the lanes. We're not sure if he was crossing at this time or standing in the lane for an unknown reason," said Sgt. Chris Sulzbach of the Pennsauken Police.

Police say it looks like Johnson was hit by three different vehicles, all of which did stop. It does not appear that speed was a factor, and it's not clear why Johnson was on the roadway at the time.

Police say the striking vehicles appeared to have a green light, so there will likely not be any charges filed against the drivers involved. Police say no surveillance footage has shown up that might show exactly what happened.

After the accident, friends gathered to listen to one of Johnson's albums.

"The skills, his wordplay, his music touched you," said Michael Hansbury.

"He really could have did it," said manager Eric Saenz. "He had gospel, rap. He touched you."

In addition to his love for music, he had tremendous love for his family. Friends say Johnson was engaged and set to be married in a few weeks time. He had two children and a third on the way.

"He loved everyone who was close to him, loved everyone around him. He treated everyone equally," said Hansbury.

While his friends are devastated at losing him, they took solace in the voice he left behind. They listened to one song with the lyrics "How do you enjoy the good if you never experience the bad?"

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