Quentin Williams, a rising political star, had his life cut off abruptly short when a wrong-way driver crashed head-on into his vehicle early Thursday morning.
The Connecticut state lawmaker was returning home from the governor's inauguration ball just hours after he was sworn-in for a third term. Williams, a Democrat from Middletown, died in the crash on Route 9 in Cromwell.
According to state police, both drivers were killed and one of the vehicles became fully engulfed in flames. It was not immediately clear which vehicle Williams, known as "Q", was inside.
Authorities managed to identify the wrong-way driver as Kimede Mustafaj, 27, of Manchester, Connecticut, who also died in the crash. They are investigating the accident to see whether alcohol or drugs were involved.
Jason Rojas, House Majority Leader, described Williams as an amazing human being. "His infectious smile could instantly make a difficult day better. He was an amazing husband, friend and colleague. He loved community and serving others. Truly a friend to all who knew him."
Sen. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown, said he was proud of Williams and his incredible accomplishments and had so much hope for what he was yet to do. "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 said. "So it's just, it's just gut-wrenching."
Democratic House Speaker Matt Ritter expressed shock. "Q was my dear friend and I am scarred by his sudden loss. We will have time to reflect on Q as a legislator in the weeks to come, but right now I deeply mourn my friend and send all of my love to Carrissa, Queen and Q's family. We will all miss Q."
Young, Emerging Leader
House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora described Williams as a young, emerging leader who deftly balanced forward-looking thoughtfulness with passion and charisma in his work at the Capitol and within his community.
Williams had attended Middletown schools and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Bryant University. He had a master's degree in public administration from Villanova University and was pursuing studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government at the time of his death. The young politician has left behind his wife and mother.