Ella Formby, niece of Rep. Mark Formby (R-Picayune), died this morning, Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn announced.

"Lisa and I are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Rep. Formby's niece, Ella," said Speaker Gunn. "We are keeping his family in our prayers during this difficult time."

Ella Formby's father Lou commanded the National Guard's 298th Corps Support Battalion in Iraq.

The family was involved in a serious automobile crash in south Mississippi recently. The Formbys are formerly of Philadelphia.

See Wednesday's Neshoba Democrat for more details.