By Shereen Siewert

A Wisconsin lawmaker was driving one of three vehicles Friday in an Ashland crash that left a mother and her 5-year-old daughter dead.

The Ashland Daily Press reports State Sen. Janet Bewley, of Mason, pulled out of a parking lot on Hwy. 2 and into the path of a westbound vehicle driven by 27-year-old Alyssa Ortman, of Pennsylvania. The crash pushed Ortman’s vehicle into the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 2, where it was struck by a third vehicle.

Ortman, of Pennsylvania, was transported to a local hospital where she later died. Her 5-year-old daughter died at the scene of the crash, which was reported just before 12:30 p.m. near Maslowski Beach, just east of Hwy. 13.

Bewley’s office released the following statement Monday morning:

“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.”

Ashland Police Chief Bill Hagstrom said no charges have been filed or recommended as the State Patrol reconstructs the crash, according to the Ashland Daily Press report.

“We’ll be sitting down with them and going over everything as far as determining how it all actually happened,” Hagstrom told the newspaper. “Then we’ll forward everything to the district attorney for their review because it was a fatal accident.”

The crash shut down Hwy. 2 for hours, with traffic rerouted through the city.

Bewley, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election. Kelly Westlund, a Democrat, and Romaine Quinn, a Republican, are vying for her 25th Senate District seat.