Carson Suspends Campaigning for 2 Days After Car Accident Involving Staffers

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Ben Carson canceled campaign events for Tuesday and Wednesday after three volunteers and one staffer for the retired neurosurgeon’s campaign were involved in a car accident.

“We unfortunately had some tragedy in our campaign today,” Carson told CNN affiliate WCIV in Charleston, South Carolina, where he had been campaigning. “One of the vans in Iowa, with one of our staffers and three student volunteers, hit a patch of ice, flipped on its side, (and) was hit by another vehicle.”

Carson said he did not know the precise location of the accident.

The campaign said three of the passengers, including the campaign staffer driving, were examined and released from Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa. One volunteer was transported to the trauma center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

“Everybody’s being looked at in the hospital right now. One person is very gravely wounded,” Carson added.

Carson said he had spoken with a neurosurgeon who was attending to the seriously injured volunteer, who was identified by campaign spokesman Jason Osborne as Braden Joplin. Carson also said he had spoken with Joplin’s family and that he would travel to Omaha to be with him.

“I think that’s where we need to be right now,” Carson said.

Osborne, who told CNN that the campaign suspended events through Wednesday, was unable to provide Joplin’s age but said he was either in college or a recent college graduate. Osborne would not release the name of the driver.

Carson’s Iowa state director, Ryan Rhodes, asked for prayers in a Facebook post.

“Today is one of those days where it’s about more than politics please pray for Braden a dedicated volunteer who put his heart and soul into this effort. Somehow the words Trust in God mean more now than can be expressed,” he wrote.

Rivals offer thoughts, condolences

Several of Carson’s GOP rivals offered their support over Twitter.

“Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the @RealBenCarson staffers injured in a car accident in Iowa. By His stripes, we are healed. Is. 53:5,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted.

“Thoughts & prayers with @RealBenCarson’s volunteers & staff- involved in a car accident this morning,” tweeted Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

“Just heard about the serious car accident involving @RealBenCarson staff and volunteers. Please join me in praying for them,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted.