Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski and 2 aides died in an auto crash
Three people, including a member of Rep. Jackie Walorski’s congressional staff, were murdered in an automobile accident in her northern Indiana district on Wednesday, according to authorities.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office says the incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. when a car crossed the centre line and crashed head-on with the SUV Walorski was travelling in. Authorities say Walorski, 58, and two other passengers in the SUV, as well as the driver of the other vehicle, were all murdered.
Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District was initially represented by Walorski, who sat on the House Ways & Means Committee, when he was elected in 2012. She was a member of the state legislature for six years prior to her current position.
“She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers,” Walorski’s chief of staff, Tim Cummings, issued a statement
Walorski and her husband previously served as Christian missionaries in Romania, where they founded a charity to help feed and treat the country’s most vulnerable children. Before going into politics, she was a television news reporter in South Bend.
According to the sheriff’s office, Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka, Indiana, Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington, D.C., and Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, Indiana, were also killed in the crash.
Cummings acknowledged that Walorski’s congressional team included Potts and Thomson. Potts was Walorski’s district director and the Republican chairman for northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County, while Thompson served as her communications director.
According to the sheriff’s office, the other driver was Schmucker. After a crash in a remote location in Wakarusa, the investigation continues.
US Sen. Todd Young of Indiana said he was “devastated” by the loss of Walorski.
“Jackie loved Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them,” Young said. “I’ll never forget her spirit, her positive attitude, and most importantly her friendship. All of Indiana mourns her passing, along with the tragic deaths of her staff Emma Thomson and Zach Potts. Please join me in praying for their families in this difficult time.”
With a substantial Republican majority, Walorski sought reelection to a sixth term in the House of Representatives this year.