Co-workers anxiously awaited information Friday on the condition of Amanda Mahnke, the communications director for Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) who was hit by a Metrobus while jogging Thursday morning.
At about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Mahnke, 30, was heading north on Connecticut Avenue Northwest when she was hit by a bus traveling east on Florida Avenue. Since she had no identification on her, she was checked into George Washington University Hospital as a Jane Doe. But when she hadnt shown up to work by Thursday afternoon, co-workers grew worried.
We went into investigative mode, Chief of Staff Kim Johnston said. When she didnt show up for work, we sent staff over to her apartment to make sure she was not sick in some fashion.
Staffers then saw an article about the accident and recognized the description for the then-unidentified Mahnke. They called police, who later confirmed her identity.
Johnston said the office was getting a lot of love and support. Larsen said in a statement that the office was trying to respect the familys privacy and is ready to support them in any way we can.
Amanda is more than a co-worker or employee; she is a great friend and confidant to many, he said. As her friends, we know the best thing we can do for her and her family is to keep her in our thoughts and prayers.
Hospital spokeswoman Heather Oldham declined to comment on Mahnkes condition, citing privacy concerns. But several media outlets reported Thursday night that she was in stable condition, with a fractured skull and other injuries.
Michal Miller, a communications coordinator for the Corcoran (and a former Roll Call marketing coordinator), was standing at the crosswalk on the opposite side of Florida Avenue from Mahnke and witnessed the accident. The walk signal turned on, she said, prompting both women to start crossing Florida Avenue. But Miller stepped back when she caught sight of an approaching bus.
I started moving and I kind of saw a bus coming, heading east. It was going really fast, she said. If the light wasnt red already, it was certainly yellow.
Mahnke, she said, disappeared from view.
Then I heard it and saw her go flying, but I looked away, Miller said, later adding about the bus: I want to say it came out of nowhere.
Mahnke isnt the only Capitol Hill staffer in critical condition. Dustin Frost, state director for Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), has been unconscious for the past week after a boat crash in which he, Rehberg and three others were injured.
Frost sustained a skull fracture and a brain injury from the accident, which occurred the night of Aug. 27 on Montanas Flathead Lake. His prognosis is unclear, although a Rehberg spokesman maintains that doctors are optimistic that he will recover. Rehberg sustained a broken ankle and a fracture around his eye.