Friends and family are mourning a prominent Chester County Democrat who died in a fiery, multi-vehicle crash on Route 202 Saturday.
The crash occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Route 202 at S. Matlack Street in West Goshen Township. The accident involved nine vehicles, including a tractor trailer hauling frozen turkeys. The tractor trailer flipped onto its side and exploded into a ball of flames, with smoke that could be seen for miles.
One person, identified by police as 38-year-old Adam Harrison Swope of Malvern, Pennsylvania, died in the crash after the truck slammed into his car. Several other people suffered minor injuries.
Swope was chair of the Willistown/Malvern Democrats and executive assistant and campaign manager for Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, who is currently running for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. He was known for his savvy strategy and steady demeanor while organizing numerous campaigns for Cozzone and other Chester County democrats.
In a statement posted on the Chester County Democratic Committee Facebook page, Cozzone wrote that she met Swope in 2005 when he became her campaign manager during her race for County Controller. She described Swope as “bright and kind and funny.”
“Outside of my husband, Adam knew me best,” Cozzone wrote. “He knew before I did how I would react or feel about a situation. He knew what I wanted to say and made it sound good. If you ever heard me give a great speech, rest assured Adam had a huge hand in it.”
Cozzone also described Swope's passions outside of politics.
"Adam was an eternal optimist who loved his parents, his Nana, cats, the Steelers, Game of Thrones, his fraternity, musicals, weird strategy games, Super Mario, Sunny in Philadelphia, the Daily Show and politics," she wrote. "Not necessarily in that order."
Swope's fraternity Sigma-Pi - Zeta Alpha Chapter wrote on their Facebook page that he was on his way to his alma mater West Chester University's PSAC Conference Title football game with a friend when the crash occurred.
"On a personal note, we all have lost a friend and Brother. Adam gave selflessly of his time and energy to the causes he believed in," they wrote. "We in Sigma Pi were fortunate because our Chapter was one of the causes he felt deeply about."
Swope's fraternity brother Dan Williams described him as a leader who was called to service.
"Adam made me a better friend," Williams said. "A better parent. A better husband."
Swope was also a campaign manager for Andy Dinniman, who was just re-elected as State Senator for Pennsylvania's 19th District, as well as a regional field director for President Obama and an administrative analyst for Chester County. Cozzone's husband Victor Cozzone said Swope was in a celebratory mood just prior to his death after a successful Election Day for Chester County Democrats.
"Democrats really had a hard time in Chester County," said Cozzone's husband Victor Cozzone. "It was only until this last Tuesday that he actually was able to see the fruits of all that hard work."
The joy Swope's friends and peers felt has now turned to sorrow.
"We've lost a great friend," Victor Cozzone said. "We've lost a great political mind."
Police continue to investigate the crash, which shut down a stretch of Route 202 for several hours. Anyone who witnessed the collision or has video or photographs is asked to contact the West Goshen Police Department traffic safety division at 610-696-7400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.