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Carson campaign volunteer dies from crash


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Jan. 19, 2015

In a stunning move, Dr. Ben Carson has temporarily suspended his presidential campaign for Tuesday and Wednesday to help staffers gravely injured in a car accident.

Shortly after making the announcement, one of Carson’s volunteers, Braden Joplin, 25, died at the hospital from injuries suffered during the crash.

Carson said in a statement reported by the Hill: “One of the precious few joys of campaigning is the privilege of meeting bright young men and women who are so enthusiastic about their country that they will freely give of their time and energy to work on its behalf. America lost one of those bright young men today. … The outporing of support for Braden and his family from fellow candidates, as well as their staffs and volunteers, demonstrates that life will always transcend politics and I thank them.”

Carson said he is praying for Joplin’s family and asked America to unite in doing the same.

He also tweeted a photograph of himself with Joplin, along with this text: “Rest in Peace Braden Joplin. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

See what Ben Carson believes about the United States, in his bestseller, “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.”

When news of the crash first broke, Carson told a luncheon crowd at the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston that he would be stepping aside from his campaign to fly to Omaha to be with the family of his staffers, whose van had slid off an icy road.

Carson’s website had the following statement:

Earlier today in Iowa, a van transporting three campaign volunteers and a Carson campaign employee hit a patch of ice and flipped on its side where it was struck by another vehicle. Three of the passengers, including the campaign staffer driving, are currently being checked out at Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa. One volunteer is being transported to the trauma center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Dr. Carson has spoken with the family of the volunteer being transported to Omaha, as well as the attending physician. Dr. Carson has cancelled all remaining campaign events today and will be traveling to Omaha this afternoon to be with the family during this difficult time.

Dr. Carson is asking people to join him in prayer for all the individuals and families involved.

Carson’s team is in Iowa where the first votes in the nomination process will be cast. Many of the Republican candidates are campaigning in Iowa’s harsh winter weather as they compete to secure support in the run-up to the February 1 Iowa caucuses, the first votes in the presidential nomination process.

According to a poll average compiled by, Carson is running fourth in Iowa.

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.

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Joplin was initially transported to the trauma center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and listed in “grave condition,” according to medial officials. His death was announced several hours later.

Carson campaign volunteer Braden Joplin

The death came after Carson’s Iowa state director, Ryan Rhodes, had asked for prayers for Joplin 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.

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