Top Wisconsin state Democrat involved in car crash that killed mother, 5-year-old

Officials do not suspect any alcohol or foul play is involved

Updated: July 26, 2022 - 3:07pm

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Wisconsin's Democratic Senate minority leader was involved in an accident that reportedly began when she exited a parking lot and eventually led to the deaths of a mother and her 5-year-old daughter. 

State Sen. Janet Bewley left the Maslowski Beach parking lot in Ashland on Friday shortly after noon and she crossed into the path of another car on the highway, police said, the Ashland Daily Press reported.

Bewley's car collided with the other car, which was driven by 27-year-old Pennsylvanian Alyssa Ortman, authorities stated.

Ortman's vehicle spun across the highway where it was hit again by another car.

Ortman passed away later at the hospital while her 5-year-old daughter was pronounced dead at the scene.

The case is still being investigated and no charges have been filed, Ashland Police Chief Bill Hagstrom said Monday.

"There’s nothing suspected as far as alcohol or foul play or anything," he said.

Bewley's office confirmed that the state senator was in a three-vehicle accident.

"Tragically, two people lost their lives," her office said. "This is a heartbreaking event for the community. Our thoughts and prayers are focused on the individuals involved, their families and their loved ones.

"Senator Bewley, who was not seriously injured in the accident, wants to thank all the dedicated law enforcement and emergency medical personnel who helped in the aftermath of the accident."