Carson scraps Iowa events after campaign-involved van crash; Volunteer dies from injuries

By Ann Marie Awad and Doug G. Ware  |  Updated Jan. 19, 2016 at 8:39 PM
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ATLANTIC, Iowa, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Republican presidential contender Ben Carson canceled his trip to Iowa Tuesday after four members of his campaign were involved in an icy car wreck -- one of whom later died.

Braden Joplin, 24, of Midland, Texas, was transported to the trauma center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., after the crash, but was later pronounced dead.

Officials said three campaign volunteers and a staff member were riding in a van on Interstate 80 Tuesday when it hit a patch of ice, crossed the center median, was struck by another vehicle and flipped over.

The other three were taken to Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa, officials said.

Carson's campaign had previously said no one in the van was injured.

According to an accident report by the Iowa State Patrol, eight people in both cars were involved in the crash, including three children under the age of 12.

The GOP physician had two remaining events to attend in South Carolina on Tuesday, both closed to the press. Carson instead traveled to Omaha to be with Joplin and his family. It wasn't immediately clear whether Carson made it to Omaha before Joplin died.

"I am asking for you to join me in prayer for all the individuals and families involved," Carson said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also posted about the accident on Facebook, saying, "Please join me in praying for them."

"Thoughts & prayers with [BenCarson's] volunteers & staff- involved in a car accident this morning," Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's campaign manager, tweeted.

Carson had been campaigning in South Carolina Tuesday, but was planning to travel to Iowa in anticipation of the state's key caucuses on Feb. 1.

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