Omaha, Neb.— A day after suspending his campaign activities in the aftermath of a fatal car accident that took the life of a campaign volunteer, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson announced he will resume his campaign Thursday “with a heavy heart.”
"I do so filled with the inspiration of Braden's life story,” Carson said in a statement posted to his Facebook page. "He poured his heart into this campaign knowing this election is about something bigger than ourselves – it's about returning this country back into the hands of we the people and He who guides our path.”
Twenty-five year-old Carson Campaign volunteer Braden Joplin died Tuesday afternoon after a van carrying Carson staff and volunteers was struck while flipping on an icy road near Atlantic, Iowa. Three of the passengers were hospitalized and released. Joplin was transported to the trauma center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., where he later died.
The Carson campaign paid for Joplin’s family to travel from Texas to the Omaha hospital. Dr. Carson, who was scheduled to have private meetings in South Carolina Tuesday, and a private fundraiser in California Wednesday, cancelled his political events and flew to Omaha. The hospital says Joplin passed just after 4:30 local time.
After meeting with the family to offer condolences Tuesday night, an emotional Carson spoke to the media saying he hopes Joplin’s death "might help some people to think about the hard heartedness that has infested our land.”
In the statement announcing his return to the campaign trail, Carson said "Our mission going forward is to honor Braden as he embodied the spirit we carry forward, restoring the transformative power of We the People, unifying our nation with the inspirational vision of those who passionately love our country.
Carson has two events scheduled in Iowa Thursday afternoon. The second of which will be in Atlantic, Iowa, close to the scene of the accident.