Former chairman of Shelby Co. Republican Party killed in car crash

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A prominent member of the Shelby County Republican Party has died.

Bill Giannini, former deputy commissioner of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and former chairman of Shelby County Republican Party, was killed in a car crash Thursday.

Giannini was driving to Memphis from Nashville at about 1:40 p.m. on Interstate 40 eastbound in Decatur County, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Officials said his vehicle crossed through the median into the westbound lanes, causing a head-on collision.

The driver of the other vehicle was injured in the crash, and it is unknown what their condition is.

Republican Party Chair Lee Mills released a statement on Giannini's death:

"Bill was an outstanding individual and we have many fond memories of him. I will personally remember his enthusiasm, his quick wit and his infectious smile.

Tennessee Sen. Lee Harris (D-Memphis) issued the following statement on Giannini's death:

"I was shocked to learn of the death of Bill Giannini. He truly loved this community, and always found a way to work with others, regardless of party. His numerous contributions to Memphis and to Tennessee will be remembered. He will be missed."

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell released the following statement on Giannini's passing:

"All of us at Shelby County Government were shocked and saddened about Bill Giannini's passing.  He was a close friend and adviser to many of us in government.  Bill was a consummate public servant.  His insight, kindness and willingness to help others will be long-remembered."

Giannini was president of Resolve Consulting Firm and also formerly owned Little Italy Pizza on Union Avenue in Memphis.

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