Nancy Hamilton, wife of former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), died this weekend after a car accident in which she was apparently run over by her own vehicle.
The accident took place on Saturday in the parking lot of a veterinarian's office in Bloomington, Ind., where Hamilton, 82, was taking her dog for an appointment. She exited her vehicle to retrieve the animal, but reportedly left the car in gear. Investigators believe that as she circled the car, the vehicle rolled backwards, hitting and running over her. Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer told The Bloomington Herald-Times that Hamilton suffered head and chest injuries and succumbed to the trauma within hours of being transported to a local hospital.
Hamilton and her retired husband had recently completed their move to Bloomington to begin a new life. The former congressman had most notably followed up on his 35-year career of congressional service with a position as the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission. He currently serves as the director of Indiana University's Center on Congress, which he helped create.
Officials around the state responded to the news with shock and distress.
"Nancy Hamilton was a lovely and gracious woman," Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said. "She was a true supporter and partner to Lee and his career serving our state and country. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lee and the Hamilton family during this difficult time.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat who is running for Senate in Indiana, released this statement:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Lee Hamilton and his family tonight following their tragic loss. Both my wife, Jill, and I were fortunate to have known Nancy Hamilton, and she was extraordinarily gracious and kind in every way. We send our condolences to her family and friends. The Hamiltons served our state and country for many years, and Nancy will be dearly missed.”
"Karen and I were shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Nancy Hamilton. Mrs. Hamilton and her husband raised a wonderful family and made an enormous contribution to the life of our state and our nation. Our hearts and prayers go out to Lee and their entire family during this difficult time."
Hamilton is survived by her husband, Lee, as well as three children and five grandchildren.