Connecticut Lawmaker Quentin Williams Killed In Fiery Collision

[Screenshot/YouTube/NBC News]

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A Connecticut state representative was killed in a fiery collision Thursday night when a driver going the wrong way reportedly struck his vehicle.

Quentin Williams, 39, was returning from the governor’s inauguration ball just after midnight when Kimede Mustafaj, 27, who was driving the wrong way, reportedly hit him head-on, NPR reported. The collision caused Williams’ vehicle to burst into flames. Both were killed at the scene, the outlet stated.

Fellow lawmakers were stunned by the news of their colleague’s “gut-wrenching” death.

“Q was a beloved friend and his passing even as I write this is still shocking and unfathomable. He and his family have meant so much to the Middletown community and personally to myself and my family,” State Senator Matt Lesser said, according to NBC Connecticut.

“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,” Lesser continued per NPR. “So it’s just, it’s just gut-wrenching.”

“This is devastating news, and I am incredibly saddened by this tragedy,” Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said, according to NBC Connecticut. Lamont praised Williams’ passion for public service and his “infectiously optimistic personality,” calling him a “genuine person with a genuine soul.”

“In a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking instant, I learned that my friend of nearly 20 years, Quentin “Q” Williams has tragically passed away. No statement from any friend, colleague, politician or person will ever be able to capture in words his humility, his passion for justice, or his zeal for life,” State Rep. Geoff Luxenberg stated, according to the outlet.

Williams had just been sworn in to serve his third term and been named co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee on Wednesday during the opening of the 2023 legislative session. The State Capitol and Legislative Office Building was closed Friday to mourn his passing, with legislative work resuming Monday, NBC Connecticut reported. Lamont also ordered state flags to be lowered until sunset on the day of Williams’ funeral. (RELATED: Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski Killed In Car Crash)

Police are still determining whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.