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Connecticut state legislator Quentin Williams dies in wrong-way car crash: ‘Shocking and unfathomable’

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Quentin Williams

yur”>CROMWELL, Connecticut – Connecticut state representative Quentin Williams died in a car accident after he was struck by a wrong-way driver, hours after he was sworn in for his third term Wednesday, authorities said.

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Williams, known as “Q,” was 39 years old. The Democrat had served the residents of his hometown of Middletown in the Connecticut House of Representatives since 2019. He was recently appointed to serve as co-chairman of the legislature’s labor committee.

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State Representative Quentin Williams, D-Middletown, applauds during Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont‘s State of the State address, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Hartford, Connecticut.

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Brian O’Connor/Connecticut House Democrats via AP

Williams was driving on Route 9 in Cromwell early Thursday when a driver traveling in the wrong lane struck him head-on shortly before 1 a.m., Connecticut State Police said.

His car was completely engulfed in flames and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Williams was identified by police as the driver following an autopsy.

The wrong-way driver was also pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Police identified the driver as Kimede Mustafaj, 27, of Manchester, Connecticut.

Connecticut state lawmakers expressed shock and dismay at the untimely death of their colleague.

“Representative Williams was an incredible human being. His contagious smile could instantly improve a difficult day,” Connecticut House Majority Leader Jason Rojas said in a statement. “He was an incredible husband, friend and colleague. He loved the community and serving others. Truly a friend to all who knew him. This is a terrible tragedy and a great loss to our state.”

State Senator Matt Lesser called Williams a “dear friend” whose death was “shocking and unfathomable.”

“As a legislator, he was a passionate and committed public servant whose intellect and warmth made our state a better place and the General Assembly a better place,” Lesser said in a statement.

Williams was also a “pioneer” as the first black state representative elected from Middletown, Lesser added.

Connecticut House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said Williams was a “young, emerging leader who deftly balanced progressive thoughtfulness with passion and charisma.”

“His tragic passing is a devastating loss to the General Assembly, Middletown and the State of Connecticut,” Candelora said in a statement.

State leaders canceled legislative meetings and closed the Capitol Complex in Hartford on Thursday after Williams’ death.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont ordered the state flags to be lowered to half mast, effective immediately, in honor of Williams.

“This is devastating news and I am incredibly saddened by this tragedy,” Lamont said in a statement. “Quentin had an infectiously upbeat personality and loved the opportunity to represent Middletown, his longtime home, at the state capitol. Public service was his passion and he always stood up for the people of his hometown. He was a person with a genuine soul, and he will be missed.”

Williams was director of advocacy and policy for Excellence Community Schools and co-founder of EquityCT, an educational nonprofit, according to his bio on the State House Democrats website.

Williams is survived by his wife, Carrissa Williams. Information about the services will be available in the coming days, state officials said.

Copyright © 2023 ABC News Internet Ventures.

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