CROMWELL, Connecticut (WABC) -- Connecticut State Representative Quentin "Q" Williams (D-Middletown) was tragically killed Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after he was sworn in for his third term in office.
Officials say the fatal incident happened on Route 9 in Cromwell, when a car traveling in the wrong direction crashed into Williams head-on.
Williams' car went up in flames in the shoulder of the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The driver of the other vehicle also died in the accident and was identified as 27-year-old Kimede Mustafaj of Manchester.
Governor Ned Lamont directed that state flags be at half-staff in Williams' honor. The Legislative Office Building closed on Thursday and all committee meetings were also canceled.
"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," Lamont said.
The 39-year-old was the first African American to represent the City of Middletown in the Connecticut General Assembly, according to the Connecticut House Democrats' website.
Williams also served as city treasurer in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015. He was a part of the planning and zoning commission in 2007, and in 2009, he was unanimously elected chair of the commission.
"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 Representative Geoff Luxenberg (D-Manchester) said of Williams.
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