MADISON – Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley was involved in a fatal car crash Friday that left a mother and her 5-year-old daughter dead.
Bewley, who represents a district that covers the northwestern part of the state, pulled out of a Lake Superior beach entrance and into the path of a car driven by 27-year-old Alyssa Ortman of Pennsylvania, according to the Ashland Police Department. When Ortman’s car collided with Bewley’s, it spun across Highway 2 and was hit by another vehicle driven by 45-year-old Jodi Munson of Mason.
Ortman’s 5-year-old daughter was pronounced dead at the crash scene. Ortman was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died, according to police.
Ben Baker, a reporting intern for the Journal Sentinel, was on the phone with Bewley on Friday afternoon for an interview he had arranged with her staff about this fall’s elections for the Legislature.
Shortly after the interview began, Bewley told Baker she had cataract eye surgery the day before. Minutes later, she stopped talking mid-sentence and the call went silent. When Baker asked Bewley if she was still on the line, she sounded concerned. When Baker asked if she was OK, she said, “Yeah, I’m OK. This is not a good accident.”