Former Bethel First Selectman, Town Clerk Killed in Two-Car Accident Tuesday

Two former Bethel officials, William and Jane Shannon, died from injuries in Danbury accident.

A fatal accident on South Street in Danbury Tuesday resulted in the death of two Bethel residents and former elected officials, as well as the driver of the vehicle that crashed into them.

According to Danbury police, Edward Kish, 45, of Brookfield, was driving northbound on South Street around 11:45 a.m. when his vehicle crossed over the centerlines and struck a southbound car driven by Jane Shannon, 78, and her husband William Shannon, 77, both of Bethel.

All three were taken to Danbury Hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries.

William Shannon was a former Bethel Selectman and First Selectman and Jane Shannon formerly served as Town Clerk.

According to eyewitness accounts, Kish was seen slumped over the steering wheel just before he lost control of the vehicle and the accident occurred.

The impact from the crash also forced the Shannon’s vehicle into a box truck operated by Roy Bass, of Middle Island, NY. Bass was treated for injuries at Danbury Hospital and later released.

The accident is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Danbury Sgt. Rory DeRocco or officer Lance Brevard at 203-797-2157 or 203-797-2156.

A Town's Condolences

Bethel First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker issued a statement on the Shannons Tuesday evening, recognizing their service to the community and offering condolences on behalf of the entire town.

“Bill, a longtime member of the Bethel Democratic Town Committee, served the town in numerous capacities, including First Selectman and Selectman, Board of Police Commissioners, Insurance and Pension Commission, Economic Outreach Commission, Justice of the Peace, Special Policeman and most recently was a member of the Charter Revision Commission,” Knickerbocker wrote. “Bill was well regarded by all who served with him in town government and well known for his sense of optimism, respectfulness and civility in dealing with difficult political issues.”

“Jane Shannon will long be remembered for her decade of service as Bethel’s Town Clerk, holding that position from 1984 to 1995, as well as for her contributions as a member of the Bethel Public Library’s Board of Directors.”

“Bill and Jane both worked tirelessly in support of causes in which they believed deeply,” Knickerbocker continued. “Bill, a steamfitter by trade and a longtime union official, worked diligently to protect the rights of laborers and for equitable pay.”

“The sudden passing of Bill and Jane Shannon leave a painful void in our community that will be felt for a very long time. On behalf of the Town of Bethel, I offer our deepest condolences to the Shannon family.”
Skip Clapp January 28, 2014 at 08:25 PM
A terrible tragedy. Will miss them both and may their souls rest in peace.
Susan January 28, 2014 at 09:04 PM
May the angels be with the Shannon family during this difficult time.
Bill Hillman January 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM
A gentleman, Mr. Shannon and I agreed and disagreed about many issues on the Charter Commission, debate was robust, but always civil. What a shame to lose someone who loved his town too soon in such an accident.
Paul Improta January 29, 2014 at 08:30 AM
The Shannon's embodied that spirit of community involvement that we don't see as much of today. I most recently served with Bill on the Charter Revision Commission. We sat next to each other. Bill always had a handshake and a greeting ready to say hello. He was interested in what you were interested, and always wanted to have a friendly chat. He always sought common ground. We'd speak about golf, sports, etc. He was a genuinely nice man, an elder, a mentor, a fair person, a class act. The Shannon's, including Bill's brother Dick who passed behind him and his wife Jane surely left their mark in history in the town of Bethel. My condolences to their family.
Paula Antolini January 29, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Life is so delicate, what a tragedy to lose such wonderful people so suddenly, and in this manner. Praise to the Shannons for their community involvement and giving spirit. Condolences to their families.
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CA - CT ANTIQUES- AUCTIONS & ESTATE SALES January 30, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Bill R.I.P our thoughts and prayers go out to your family.


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