UPDATE: Wis. Sen. Janet Bewley Involved In Double-Fatal Crash In Ashland


UPDATE (July 26, 4:00p.m.) — New details came out regarding what Wisconsin State Senator Janet Bewley was doing when she was involved in the fatal multi-vehicle accident in Ashland on July 22.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says one of their reporting interns was conducting a phone interview with Bewley regarding the fall elections.

The paper adds Bewley told the reporter she had cataract eye surgery the day before.

During the interview she stopped mid-sentence as the call went silent for a moment, she then returned and sounded concerned.

When asked if she was okay, Bewley replied, “Yeah, I’m okay. This is not a good accident.”

Ashland Police say the Wisconsin State Patrol is assisting in their investigation. Once that is completed, charges could be filed.


ASHLAND, Wis. — A multi-vehicle crash involving Wisconsin State Sen. Janet Bewley has resulted in two deaths, according to the Ashland Police Department.

The accident happened around 12:26 p.m. Friday on US Highway 2 in Ashland near Turner Road.

Investigators said a vehicle driven by Bewley, 70, pulled out from the entrance of Maslowski Beach and turned east onto US Highway 2 before colliding with a vehicle going westbound that was driven by Alyssa Ortman, 27, of Clearfield, Pennsylvania.

Ortman’s vehicle then spun across the highway and struck another vehicle going eastbound.

Ortman was transported to a local medical center where she died of her injuries.  Her 5-year-old daughter who was also in the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

Alcohol was not a factor and no other serious injuries were reported, according to Ashland Police Chief Bill Hagstrom.  He told FOX 21 there have been no arrests or charges.

A spokesperson for Sen. Bewley released the following statement Monday:

Senator Bewley was involved in a three-vehicle accident in Ashland, Wisconsin on Friday, July 22nd. Tragically, two people lost their lives. This is a heartbreaking event for the community. Our thoughts and prayers are focused on the individuals involved, their families and their loved ones. Senator Bewley, who was not seriously injured in the accident, wants to thank all the dedicated law enforcement and emergency medical personnel who helped in the aftermath of the accident. A police investigation is ongoing. Out of respect for that investigation and the privacy of all the families involved, our office will be withholding further comment at this time. Thank you for your patience and concern.

Wisconsin Sen. Janet Bewley who served 4 years in the Assembly and almost 8 years in the Senate announced she won’t seek reelection earlier this year.

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