A relatively young state lawmaker in Connecticut considered to be a rising star in the Democratic Party was tragically killed on Thursday shortly after being sworn in for his third term in the General Assembly, the Washington Examiner reported.
Quentin “Q” Williams, 39, passed away after his car caught fire as a result of a head-on collision with another driver headed in the wrong direction on a highway.
The outlet noted that Connecticut’s Capitol building and legislative offices were ordered closed over the weekend and all flags in the state were ordered lowered to half-staff in his honor.
Fiery and fatal car accident
Local NBC affiliate WVIT reported that Williams was driving to his home in Middletown when he was involved in the fatal accident on Route 9 while passing through Cromwell.
Per Connecticut State Police, Williams was driving south on Route 9 when his vehicle was hit around 12:48 am by a vehicle headed north in the southbound lanes.
That other vehicle was driven by a man named Kimede Mustafaj, 27, and both drivers perished when their vehicles were engulfed in flames following the impact.
According to the chief medical examiner’s office, Williams’ death was ruled an accident caused by blunt impact injuries to his head and torso.
Praised by his pastor
The Middletown Press reported that the local community represented by Williams was “reeling” in the aftermath of his tragic and untimely death.
The Rev. Moses Harvill, the pastor of the Cross Street AME Zion Church of which Williams had been a member for 10 years, called the late lawmaker “one of our shining stars” who was a “champion for justice and equality” who “will be missed for his labor, for his endurance, and how he made a difference in the lives of people of color.”
“He had charisma … both sides of the aisle respected him. He was sincere in his causes,” the pastor added. He also noted that he had envisioned Williams going on to serve as a U.S. senator, the governor, or even as a future president of the United States.
That local media outlet went on to share some of the heartfelt condolences and tributes to Williams from his many colleagues and friends in the community and beyond.
Condolences from colleagues
“Rep. Williams was an amazing human being. His infectious smile could instantly make a difficult day better,” House Majority Leader Jason Rojas said in a statement, according to WVIT. “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. My heart goes out to his wife, family, and all who loved Q. We will miss him.”
Sen. Matt Lesser said of Williams, “Q was a beloved friend and his passing, even as I write this, is still shocking and unfathomable,” and added, “He and his family have meant so much to the Middletown community and personally to myself and my family. 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.”
“This is devastating news, and I am incredibly saddened by this tragedy,” Gov. Ned Lamont (D) 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.”