General

Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, 3 others killed in car crash, authorities say

Indiana Rep.  Jackie Walorski, 3 others killed in car crash, authorities say

Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski and three others were killed in a car accident in her district Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Walorski, 58, was traveling south on SR 19 near Nappanee, Indiana, in an SUV with two other people when a northbound car crossed the dividing line and collided head-on with the SUV, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. All three people in the SUV were killed.

Sheriff’s officials identified the victims as Walorski; Zachery Potts, 27; and Emma Thomson, 28.

The driver of the other vehicle, 56-year-old Edith Schmucker, was also killed in the crash, officials said.

In this photo from July 19, 2018, Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., on Capitol Hill in Washington. Walorski’s office says she died in a car accident on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE

Thomson was Walorski’s communications director and Potts was previously Walorski’s campaign manager and was currently Indiana district director for the United States House of Representatives.

GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Twitter shared a statement — “with a heavy heart” — which he believes came from Walorski’s office.

“Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Chris. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. We will not comment further at this time,” it reads. the explanation. .

According to the statement, Walorski’s husband was notified of her death by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana.

A former state legislator, Walorski, a Republican, had represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.

According to her home biography, she and her husband “previously spent four years as missionaries in Romania, where they started and ran a foundation to provide food and medical supplies to impoverished children there. Jackie also worked as a television journalist in South Bend and as a development director for colleges.” and universities in Indiana.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags to be flown at half-mast at the Capitol in the wake of the crash, a spokesperson for her wrote on Twitter.

Walorski’s Republican colleague Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois, mourned her death in a short tweet on Wednesday.

PHOTO: Rep.  Jackie Walorski being interviewed in her Cannon Building office in Washington, May 20, 2014.

Rep. Jackie Walorski being interviewed in her Cannon Building office in Washington, May 20, 2014.

Tom Williams/AP, FILE

“My heart is heavy and I don’t have the words. But all I can say is pray for her family,” he wrote. “She was a good and honorable civil servant.”

In a statement Wednesday night, President Joe Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden were “shocked and saddened by” Walorski’s death.

“We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many things, but she was respected by members of both sides… My team and I appreciated her collaboration in planning a historic White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health this fall that will be marked by her deep concern for the needs of rural America,” Biden said.

The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate the crash.

Davone Morales of ABC News contributed to this report.