An 81-year-old Democrat in the race for a U.S. House seat in eastern Oklahoma died from injuries he sustained in a car accident, police said Monday.

Earl Emmitt Everett, a retired school teacher and Korean War Veteran, died Sunday at a Tulsa hospital, said Fort Gibson Police Department investigator Stephen Farmer. Everett had been in a two-car accident Friday afternoon in Fort Gibson.

Everett was a decided underdog in his race against first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin for the 2nd District seat that stretches across 26 eastern Oklahoma counties, from the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in the northeast to the Red River border with Texas in the south. An independent, Jon Douthitt, also is running for the seat.

Everett was attempting to cross Highway 62 when he was hit broadside by a westbound vehicle, Farmer said. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Everett ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2012. Everett had said he decided to run again because he believed Mullin hadn't done enough for voters in his district. He defeated recent college graduate Joshua Harris-Till in the June primary.

"We honor the memory of Mr. Everett, a Korean War veteran, and his desire to represent the people of eastern Oklahoma," Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins said in a statement. "Anyone that is willing to put their name on a ballot in order to be voted on by their peers as a public servant deserves our admiration and respect."

Collins had recently said that the party hadn't had any contact with Everett, even though he was a Democratic nominee.

Everett had told The Associated Press that the distance from his home in Fort Gibson to the party's headquarters in Oklahoma City was a problem.

"I don't have anything against the party, but they're a little bit out of pocket for me," Everett said.