Political News

South Carolina GOP candidate injured in car wreck to make a full recovery, campaign says

Posted June 24, 2018 7:23 p.m. EDT

— South Carolina congressional candidate Katie Arrington -- who is in the hospital with serious injuries after being involved in a fatal car wreck -- is expected to make a full recovery, her campaign said on Sunday.

"Katie Arrington had two major surgeries today -- the first to complement the initial surgery performed Friday night on her abdomen. The second surgery was for the spinal fracture," the campaign said in a statement. Both surgeries, according to the statement, went "extremely well."

The campaign said in the statement that doctors have determined Arrington, 47, will not suffer any neurological deficits or limitations, and is "expected to be out of bed and walking as early as the next few days." Arrington may need one more minor operation, but the campaign said it was unclear at this time. The GOP candidate is expected to remain in the hospital for the next two weeks.

On June 22, Arrington was traveling on a highway in the passenger seat when another driver traveling in the wrong direction struck the car carrying her and a friend, her campaign said on the candidate's social media accounts. She and her friend were driving to Hilton Head, where Arrington was scheduled to receive an award Saturday morning.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office confirmed to CNN that the other woman in the car with Arrington was identified as Jacqueline Goff. Both Arrington and Goff sustained serious injuries and were transported to the hospital, according to Capt. Roger Antonio, a public information officer. The sheriff's office said the driver of the second vehicle died at the scene.

"Katie sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs, as well as injuries that required Katie to undergo major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon," Arrington's campaign said in a Saturday Facebook post. "Additionally, the main artery in her legs has a partial collapse and will require a stent."

Arrington's Democratic opponent, Joe Cunningham, announced Saturday morning that he's suspending his campaign out of respect for her recovery.

"Just hearing about the terrible accident that occurred overnight involving Katie Arrington. Amanda and I are lifting her and her family up in prayer right now. Please join us," Cunningham wrote on Twitter. "We are suspending all campaign activities until further notice."

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, who lost to Arrington in the Republican primary last week, also offered his thoughts and prayers on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers this morning go to Katie Arrington, her family and those involved in last night's automobile accident," he said.