Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski Was Killed In A Car Crash Along With Two Staffers

The lawmaker from Indiana was first elected to Congress in 2012.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican member of Congress from Indiana, was killed in a car crash on Wednesday along with two members of her staff and a fourth individual.

Sheriff's deputies in Elkhart County, in northern Indiana on the Michigan border, had said in a statement on Wednesday that they responded to a crash in which a vehicle with one occupant heading north traveled left of center and collided head on with a southbound SUV, which was carrying Walorski and two others.

However, on Thursday authorities said that eyewitness and video evidence shows that it was the SUV that crossed the centerline for unknown reasons.

"All occupants of both vehicles were confirmed to have been wearing seatbelts and airbags did deploy," they said in a statement.

The 58-year-old lawmaker was killed along with Emma Thomson, her 28-year-old communications director, and Zachery Potts, a 27-year-old who had worked for Walorski as a field director and district director, per his LinkedIn page.

The sole occupant of the other vehicle, 56-year-old Edith Schmucker, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a statement on Twitter from Walorski's office announcing her death.

It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this statement from the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.

Twitter: @GOPLeader

Other Democrats and Republicans in Congress also paid tribute to the late lawmaker, who was first elected in 2012.

My heart is heavy, and i don’t have the words. But all I can say is prayers for her family. She was a good and honorable public servant. Rep. Jackie Walorski, two others killed in crash

Twitter: @AdamKinzinger

I just heard the news that my friend and colleague Jackie Walorski has passed away along with three other people in a terrible car accident today. I am absolutely heartbroken and my heart goes out to the families of each of the victims.

Twitter: @RepMaloney

Terrible news about Congresswoman Walorski of Indiana and her two aides tragically killed today in a traffic accident May God bless their families & grant them eternal peace

Twitter: @marcorubio

Walorski served on the House of Representatives' powerful Ways and Means Committee and was the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, as well as the House Ethics Committee.

Before she was elected to Congress, Walorski served in the Indiana Statehouse and had been a TV news reporter in South Bend. She also did missionary work with her husband in Romania.

Both Thomson and Potts had worked for Walorski in Republican circles for several years, with Potts serving as manager for her 2017 reelection campaign.

In a statement, President Biden offered condolences to their families and also praised Walorski for her lifetime of service to her community.

"We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee on which she served," Biden said. "She also served as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, and my team and I appreciated her partnership as we plan for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this fall that will be marked by her deep care for the needs of rural America."


This story has been updated with new information from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office regarding which vehicle crossed the centerline.

Correction: Emma Thomson's last name was misspelled in a previous version of this story.

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