Arrington, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump and recently won the Republican nomination for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District over incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford, was traveling with an aide to Hilton Head on Highway 17 when a vehicle driving in the wrong direction struck their car around 9 p.m. local time. Both were seriously injured and remained hospitalized the following morning, according to a statement posted on Arrington’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The aide was identified as 59-year-old Jacqueline Goff, according to a statement from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
The driver of the other vehicle, Helen White, 69, died at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.
Arrington, 47, was a passenger in the car. She suffered a “fracture in her back and several broken ribs,” as well as other injuries that required her to undergo “major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon,” according to the statement posted to her social media pages.
The main artery in her legs partially collapsed and will need a stint.
“Additional surgeries will be required including one likely today; and it is likely that Katie will remain hospitalized for the next two weeks,” the statement said.
“As we all know, Katie Arrington is an extremely strong woman and has tremendous faith and an incredibly supportive family,” the statement continued. “And it is from her strong faith, the support of her family, the prayers and support of our community, and the incredible doctors and staff at the hospital that she is certain she will be back to work for our state soon.”
Just hours before Arrington won the GOP congressional primary, Trump tweeted his endorsement for Arrington and lambasted her opponent, Sanford, who has been critical of the president.
“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina,” Trump’s tweet said. “I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”
On Saturday morning, the president sent his “thoughts and prayers” for those involved in the accident.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Representative Katie Arrington of South Carolina, including all of those involved last nights [sic] car accident, and their families,” Trump tweeted.
Arrington’s political rivals — Sanford and Joe Cunningham, the Democratic nominee for the seat — sent well wishes via Twitter too.
Cunningham said he’d be suspending “campaign events until further notice.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee wished Arrington a “speedy and full recovery.”
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