A 20-year-old campaign staffer for Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler has died in a fiery, multi-car crash on Friday.
Harrison Deal, a young aide for Loeffler and former intern for GOP Sen. David Perdue, died Friday morning after a three-vehicle car wreck along Interstate 16.
WSAV reports that three vehicles caught fire during the crash at 10am, and three people were treated for minor injuries at the scene. Images from the crash site show one car in flames, and then totally burned out.
The incident happened near the city of Pooler, just outside of Savannah, where Vice President Mike Pence campaigned with Loeffler and Perdue that afternoon.
Harrison Deal (right), a 20-year-old campaign staffer for Sen. Kelly Loeffler, died on Friday morning in a car crash
It’s unclear if Deal (pictured) was performing campaign duties at the time of the car crash near Pooler, Georgia
Pictured: At least one of the cars involved in Friday’s crash
Pictured: Emergency workers run to the crash site where a car was on fire
Pictured: Emergency workers at the scene of the crash where Deal died, and three others were injured
It’s unclear if Deal, from Bulloch County, had been performing campaign duties at the time. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Photos shared by WJCL showed the mangled vehicles.
Loeffler canceled plans to join Pence at the rally ahead of the contentious Georgia Senate race as a result of the tragedy.
Loeffler, Perdue and Gov. Brian Kemp, who was also close with the young aide, all paid tribute to Deal..
‘It is with an extremely heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Harrison Deal. My heart aches for his family, and Jeff and I will continue to surround them in love and prayer in the days ahead. Harrison was a beloved member of our campaign team,’ Loeffler wrote on Twitter.
‘More importantly, Harrison was a smart, bright, loving, loyal and outstanding young man. Harrison embodied the very best of this campaign – and the very best of our state.’
Sen. Loeffler shared a touching tribute to Deal on Friday morning after news of the car crash spread
Loeffler: ‘More importantly, Harrison was a smart, bright, loving, loyal and outstanding young man. Harrison embodied the very best of this campaign – and the very best of our state’
Sen. David Perdue also shared his condolences on Twitter after the car crash
Perdue revealed that he and his wife, Bonnie, were ‘devastated’ by the news.
‘Harrison was a smart, kind young man with a bright future ahead of him, and he is gone too soon,’ he wrote.
‘We are praying for his parents, Curt and Jenni Deal, and his sisters, Hannah and Halli. I ask the people of Georgia to join us in keeping the entire Deal family in their hearts on this terrible day.’
Gov. Kemp issued an official statement after news of Deal’s death spread, sharing a Christmas photo his family and the aide.
‘Today, we lost a member of our ‘Kemp Strong’ family and words cannot express how much Harrison Deal’s life, love, and support meant to us,’ wrote the Kemp family.
‘He was a person of deep faith, unmatched integrity, and incredible kindness. Harrison was the Kemp son and brother we never had. Our prayers are with the Deal Family – and countless others – as they mourn the tragic loss of Harrison.
‘He brought people together and made everyone feel important and special.’
This photo shows Kemp and his family and Deal (third from right) with his dauighter, Lucy Kemp (second from right), and Deal’s family
Deal: ‘Mr. Brian is first off a dad and a husband to one of my favorite families. I will always be willing to fight for each one of them’ Pictured: Harrison Deal and Gov. Brian Kemp
Just three days before his death, Deal shared a photo of him and Kemp to Facebook where he lauded the governor.
‘I will never be ashamed of this man. To have known him personally for the past two years, I can assure you the information currently being spread about him is completely false. He is the furthest thing from a corrupt man,’ wrote Deal.
‘He will always stand up for what’s right and what’s in the best interest for the people of Georgia.
‘Mr. Brian is first off a dad and a husband to one of my favorite families. I will always be willing to fight for each one of them.’
Harrison appeared close with the Kemp family. He was pictured with Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp and her two daughters, Amy and Lucy, supporting Loeffler for Senate in a July photo.
Deal (top left) was pictured with Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp and her two daughters, Amy and Lucy, supporting Loeffler for Senate in a July photo.
Deal was set to graduate from University of Georgia in 2022.
His unexpected death comes as Loeffler and Perdue prepare for a January 4 runoff race against Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.
The election’s outcome will decide whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the Senate next year.
Republicans currently hold 50 seats in January, but if Loeffler and Perdue lose the Senate will divided 50-50. In that case, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will make a tie breaker.
Loeffler and Perdue prepare for a January 4 runoff race against Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectivley.
Trump has tweeted in support of Perdue and Loeffler, but has spent more energy falsely suggesting that Kemp and Raffensperger have the legal authority to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. State law gives them no such option.
On Friday, Trump’s campaign filed lawsuit in Georgia that called for a new statewide presidential election and furthered allegations of voter fraud.
Initial returns showed Biden with a lead of more than 14,000 votes out of about 5 million cast. An initial hand recount put Biden’s margin at about 12,500. As Pence arrived in the state, Georgia officials were in the final stages of a third count requested by Trump’s campaign.
That leaves Republicans in Washington and Georgia concerned that Trump will use a Saturday rally in Valdosta, Georgia, to air his own grievances and conspiracies rather than stoke GOP enthusiasm about the runoffs.
Pictured: ‘U.S. President Donald Trump responds to a question from a reporter after a medal ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 3’
‘They are hyper aware of Trump’s latest comments and latest tweets and the negative impact it could be having,’ said Republican donor Dan Eberhart of the senators’ advisers. ‘And those folks go to bed every night hoping there’s no Trump tweet while they sleep.’
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dismissed such concerns but embraced the idea that Trump can make or break the runoffs for Republicans.
‘The president’s presence in Georgia will push Sens. Loeffler and Perdue over the finish line,’ she said Friday, crediting the president with Republican turnout that narrowed House Democrats’ majority and delivered victories for several vulnerable Senate Republicans.