Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his campaign are mourning the loss of a 25-year-old campaign volunteer who succumbed to injuries sustained during a vehicle collision in Iowa Tuesday.
The Republican presidential candidate had temporarily suspended all campaign appearances following news that one of his Iowa staffers and three volunteers had been involved in a car accident.
A van carrying the team flipped on its side in Iowa and was struck by an oncoming vehicle, according to the campaign. Braden Joplin sustained severe injuries that doctors could not treat and died Tuesday afternoon, the Nebraska Medical Center said in a statement forwarded by the campaign Tuesday evening.
"Rest In Peace Braden Joplin. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," Carson tweeted Tuesday evening, along with a picture of the volunteer.
Rest In Peace Braden Joplin. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/p87TCnD44p
— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) January 20, 2016
Following the accident, the driver — who is on Carson's paid staff — and two volunteers were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa. Joplin was taken to the trauma center in Omaha, where he died at 4:30 p.m., the hospital said.
Carson, who was campaigning in South Carolina Tuesday, was due to arrive in Omaha Tuesday evening. He planned to meet with Joplin's family to offer his condolences.
In a statement released by his campaign Tuesday evening, Carson said, "I had the privilege of knowing Braden Joplin personally, and am filled with a deep and profound sadness at his passing. While we mourn this profound loss, I am thankful that our other campaign colleagues, Drew McCall, Aaron Ohnemus and Ryan Patrick Shellooe, have all been treated and released from the hospital."
Here's the full statement:
Omaha, NE – January 19, 2016 – "One of the precious few joys of campaigning is the privilege of meeting bright young men and women who are so enthusiastic about their country that they will freely give of their time and energy to work on its behalf. America lost one of those bright young men today. I had the privilege of knowing Braden Joplin personally, and am filled with a deep and profound sadness at his passing. While we mourn this profound loss, I am thankful that our other campaign colleagues, Drew McCall, Aaron Ohnemus and Ryan Patrick Shellooe, have all been treated and released from the hospital.
"A presidential candidate asks a lot of his or her volunteers, working long hours in the cold, under-appreciated. They are the unsung heroes of the political process. The outpouring of support for Braden and his family from fellow candidates, as well as their staffs and volunteers, demonstrates that life will always transcend politics, and I thank them for their kind words. Please continue to keep Braden’s family and friends in your prayers as they struggle through this difficult time.
"Even after more than 30 years experience counseling parents and family members in the most difficult of times, it never gets easier. But I find solace in the knowledge of God’s redeeming grace, and I pray that Braden's family finds comfort in the mercy of the Lord. Across America today, I ask everyone to take a moment to reflect on the preciousness of life and remember and honor the memory of Braden Joplin."