AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Grace Garcia, executive director of the Democratic fundraising group Annie’s List and a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, died in crash on Interstate-35E in Waxahachie, friends and colleagues said Tuesday. She was 59.

Annie’s List chairwoman Amber Mostyn said that another staffer was in intensive care following the accident Monday afternoon. The car the group was riding in had slowed because of another accident on the highway when an 18-wheeler rear-ended the vehicle. Garcia died at the scene.

Garcia worked in the White House under Bill Clinton and later served as an adviser to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Last year she took over Annie’s List, which backs Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Among its biggest races this election year has been Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who said the loss creates a void in “that simply cannot be filled” in the landscape of Texas politics.

“Grace did so much for me and for countless Texas women. She was a part of this extraordinary journey we’ve been working on together that wouldn’t have been possible without her,” Davis said.

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose group also aims to elect female abortion rights candidates across the country, said the women’s movement had lost a leader.

“Grace Garcia never backed down from a challenge: not as a Democrat in Texas, or a woman in rooms that weren’t used to making room at the table,” Schriock said. “Grace was a force to be reckoned with, a woman with a vision that was every bit as big as Texas.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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