First Black State Assemblyman to Represent Middletown, CT Killed in Wrong-Way Car Crash
Connecticut state Rep. Quentin Williams was struck by a wrong-way driver, just hours after he was sworn in for his third term on Wednesday, ABC News reported. Officials said he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Early on Thursday, the 39-year-old lawmaker, affectionately known as “Q,” was traveling in the left lane on Route 9 in Cromwell when a driver, identified as 27-year-old Kimede Mustafaj, was driving north in the southbound lane, the wrong direction, and crashed into Williams head-on.
According to Connecticut State Police, Williams’ vehicle was “fully engulfed in flames” upon impact and “came to an uncontrolled final rest in the left shoulder.” He was identified by officers following an autopsy.
Mustafaj, whose vehicle “came to an uncontrolled final rest in the grass center median,” was also pronounced deceased on the scene.
The case remains under investigation as of Thursday, police said.
The fatal accident brings sadness and dismay to not only Williams’ colleagues but the residents of his hometown of Middletown. Since 2019, the Democrat has served in Connecticut General Assembly as the first African American to represent the City of Middletown, according to his online biography.
During his tenure, Williams championed social and racial equality, human rights, accessible housing for all, and supporting youth programs to help prepare them for successful futures.
This new year accompanied by his swearing-in further cemented his legacy.
“Rep. Williams was an amazing human being. His infectious smile could instantly make a difficult day better,” Connecticut House Majority Leader Jason Rojas said in a statement, per ABC News. “He was an amazing husband, friend and colleague. He loved community and serving others. Truly — a friend to all who knew him. This is a terrible tragedy and a great loss to our state.”
More tributes poured in via Twitter.
Devastated to lose my friend Quentin Williams. CT has lost an amazing leader who filled every room he was in with optimism, hope and happiness. pic.twitter.com/OaJdcmrDj5
— Jim Himes 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@jahimes) January 5, 2023
We are overcome with disbelief and heartbreak at tragic news of the loss of Representative Quentin Williams (“Q”) last night. A champion for Middletown and CT, Q had just yesterday been sworn in and appointed House Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. pic.twitter.com/Hbsps3xp82
— CT House Democrats (@CTHouseDems) January 5, 2023
Hard to articulate my grief right now. State Representative Quentin Williams was a champion for Connecticut. Glad I got to hug my friend “Q” one last time on the floor of the House yesterday. Sending love and prayers to his wife Carrissa and his family.https://t.co/IIxBwZ1RwA
— Raghib Allie-Brennan (@raghibct) January 5, 2023