A car crash in northern Indiana Wednesday afternoon claimed the life of Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski. The Indiana representative was one of four who perished in the two car crash.
In a statement, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that “Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon.”
The fatal accident occured in Elkhart County.
A statement from Walorski’s office confirmed her death and that of two staffers who were with her. Zach Potts and Emma Thomson are described as “the epitome of public servants who cared deeply about the work they performed.”
Potts was with the St. Joseph’s County Republican Party, and Thomson was Walorski’s communications director.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise released a statement expressing his sorrow at learning of “the tragic passing of my dear friend Jackie Walorski.” Across the Capitol, there was an outpouring of grief and remembrances for the representative and her staffers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ordered that flags at the Capitol be flown at half-staff to signify mourning in the congresswoman’s passing. Walorski was a ranking member of the House Ethics Committee.
Walorski, who was 58, was remembered as someone who was a strong advocate for her district and moving towards a leadership position within the GOP.
It was an honor to serve with Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. My heart is heavy and she will be missed. She and her family are in my thoughts.https://t.co/LZvY85mYbT
— Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) August 3, 2022
She represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District beginning in 2013. Her constituents included citizens of South Bend and Elkhart. She had been a television reporter in the area before seeking and winning a seat in the state legislature.
Biden administration Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had a longstanding relationship with the late congresswoman. He served as mayor of South Bend and his time in office coincided with her’s representing the district in the U.S. House.
Buttigieg expressed his shock and sadness at her death. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the other victims of this terrible crash,” he said.
Local media reports say a car driven by Edith Schmucker in the opposite direction crossed the center line and struck the vehicle occupied by Walorski and her staffers. Schmucker was also killed.