A state representative from Connecticut was killed in a head-on collision early Thursday, according to state law enforcement.
Quentin Williams, 39, was driving on Route 9 in Cromwell, around 12:45 a.m. on Thursday. He was driving south when a vehicle in the southbound lane hit him. Williams’ vehicle was “fully engulfed in flames” following the crash, authorities said. The driver of the other car also did not survive.
Democratic Governor Ned Lamont put forward an order to direct the Connecticut state flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Williams.
“This is devastating news, and I am incredibly saddened by this tragedy,” Lamont said in a statement. “Quentin had an infectiously optimistic personality, and he absolutely loved having the opportunity to represent his lifelong home of Middletown at the State Capitol.”
“Public service was his passion, and he was always advocating on behalf of the people of his hometown. He was a genuine person with a genuine soul, and he will be missed. My prayers are with his family, including his wife Carrissa and his mother Queen, as well as his friends and colleagues in the General Assembly,” he added.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said he “can only think of one word to describe him — hopeful.”
“Q [Williams] was always brimming with optimism and possibility. He had a spirit that was relentlessly positive and aspirational. We need his light more than ever, and that’s why it is so hard to lose him,” he added.
“Just last night, with the governor’s ball, he got pulled into a work meeting with his Labor (committee) co-chair and they were fiercely coming up with plans for the incoming legislative session,” State Senator Matthew Lesser reportedly told the Associated Press. “So it’s just, it’s just gut-wrenching.”
“Representative Williams was a young, emerging leader who deftly balanced forward-looking thoughtfulness with passion and charisma in his work at the Capitol and within his community,” State House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, the leading Republican in the state House of Representatives, also said in a statement.
According to the legislature’s House Democrats’ website, Williams was the first African American to be a representative for the City of Middletown in the state’s general assembly. He went to Middletown Public Schools and received a Bachelor’s degree from Bryan University, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration at Villanova University. He also had a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University.
“He is a champion for social and racial equality, human rights, accessible housing for all and supporting youth programs to help prepare them for successful futures,” the page noted.
Williams is survived by his wife and mother.