WASHINGTON — Representative Jackie Walorski, Republican from Indiana, was killed Wednesday in a car accident in her district, according to her office. She was 58.
Ms. Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, was notified of her death by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office, her office said in a statement. “She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” the statement read. “Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Ms. Walorski was traveling with two aides who were also killed in the crash, when a passenger car and an SUV collided head-on: Zachery Potts, 27, her district director, and Emma Thomson, 28, her communications director, according to the Elkhart County Sheriff. The driver of the oncoming car was also killed.
“They were the epitome of officials who cared deeply about the work they performed on behalf of the voters of Indiana’s Second Congressional District,” said Tim Cummings, Ms. Walorski’s chief of staff, of the aides.
The House is in summer recess, a time when lawmakers often return to their districts to meet with voters.
“Jackie was a key member of our conference and was a member of my deputy whip team for several years,” Louisiana Republican Representative Steve Scalise said in a statement. “Jackie and her staff died serving her constituents. They will be missed, and our nation will miss their service.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who? praised Mrs. Walorski because she was “admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness,” the Capitol flags ordered to be flown at half-mast. The White House said it would fly flags at half-mast on Wednesday and Thursday in memory of Ms. Walorski.
“We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many things,” President Biden said in a statement, “but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee.”
Ms. Walorski, who was first elected to Congress in 2012 and was known as a moderate, was also the highest-ranking Republican on the House Ethics Committee. She was among the 147 Republicans who voted last year to undo the 2020 election results.
“I share the concern of many Hoosiers about irregularities in the way some states conducted the 2020 presidential election,” Ms Walorski said in a statement. a statement explaining her position.
She also voted last year against the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. Mr Trump approved her 2022 re-election campaign.
A staunch anti-abortionist, Ms. Walorski visited the Bella Vita Pregnancy Center in Knox, Ind., on Tuesday, a nonprofit that helps women with unplanned pregnancies.
“Her Midwestern values of hard work, honesty, and kindness have been modeled for members,” said Texas Republican Representative Kevin Brady.
Before being elected to Congress, Ms. Walorski served three terms in the Indiana State House, spent four years as a missionary in Romania, and worked as a television reporter in South Bend, Ind.