Wisconsin Senate minority leader involved in fatal car crash

Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley (D) was involved in a car accident on Friday that killed two. 

Bewley’s office said in a statement that she was involved in a three-vehicle accident in Ashland, Wisc., but she was not seriously injured. 

“Tragically, two people lost their lives. This is a heartbreaking event for the community. Our thoughts and prayers are focused on the individuals involved, their families and their loved ones,” the statement reads. 

The office said an investigation into the crash is ongoing, and it will withhold additional comment for now out of respect for the investigation and the privacy of the families involved. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Bewley pulled into the path of a car driven by Alyssa Ortman, a 27-year-old woman from Pennsylvania who was also with her her 5-year-old daughter. When the two cars collided, Ortman’s car spun into the third vehicle. 

The daughter died at the scene while Ortman died at a local hospital. 

Ashland Police Chief Bill Hagstrom told the Ashland Daily Press that officials have not filed or recommended any charges, and State Patrol are reconstructing the accident. 

“We’ll be sitting down with them and going over everything as far as determining how it all actually happened,” he said. “Then we’ll forward everything to the district attorney for their review because it was a fatal accident.” 

Hagstrom did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill. 

The Journal Sentinel reported that a reporting intern for the newspaper was interviewing Bewley on the phone at the time of the crash about upcoming legislative elections this fall. Bewley told the intern that she had cataract eye surgery the day before and stopped talking minutes later mid-sentence. 

She told the intern that she was OK, saying “this is not a good accident.”