Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski is killed in a car crash in Indiana: Two aides also dead

Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, from Indiana, died in a car crash Wednesday. 

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s office confirmed she was one of four victims in a car crash this afternoon. Her communications director Emma Thomson and the St. Joseph County Republican Chair Zachery Potts were also killed. 

Thomson, 28, was a Washington, D.C. resident and Potts, 27, lived in Mishawaka, Indiana. 

Walorski, 58, and her two aides were driving southbound in Elkhart County, Indiana when a northbound vehicle crossed over the line and collided with their vehicle head-on. The driver of the northbound car, Edith Schmucker, 56, was also killed. 

Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, from Indiana, died in a car crash Wednesday

Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, from Indiana, died in a car crash Wednesday

Thomson, 28, Walorski's communications director, was also killed in the crash

Thomson, 28, Walorski’s communications director, was also killed in the crash 

Zachary Potts, 27, chairman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, was killed in the crash

Zachary Potts, 27, chairman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, was killed in the crash 

The collision happened around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday

The collision happened around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday 

Walorski and her staffers' southbound vehicle collided with a northbound vehicle that veered into their lane

Walorski and her staffers’ southbound vehicle collided with a northbound vehicle that veered into their lane

Walorski’s office put out a statement after the crash: ‘Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office that Jackie was killed in a car crash this afternoon. She has returned to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. We will have no further comment at this time.’ 

Walorski had represented Indiana’s 2nd district since 2013 and was the highest ranking Republican on the House Ethics Committee. Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half staff to commemorate Walorski. 

Walorski started off her career as a TV news reporter and she and her husband spent four years as missionaries in Romania, where they started a foundation to offer food and medical supplies to impoverished youth.  She also spent five years in the Indiana state house. 

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement after the crash: ‘This news is absolutely devastating. Jackie was a dear friend, trusted advisor, and the embodiment of integrity.’

‘When there was a vacancy for Republican leader of the Ethics Committee, she was my first call. Everyone who knew Jackie knows she was tough, but fair – a no nonsense, straight shooter.’  

‘@KarenPence and I are heartbroken by the tragic passing of our dear friend Rep. Jackie Walorski. She served Indiana in the Statehouse and the Congress with integrity and principle for nearly two decades and will be deeply missed,’ former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted. 

‘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. Adam Kinzinger wrote on Twitter. 

‘I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the other victims of this terrible crash,’ Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg tweeted after the crash. 

Walorski, 58, and her two aides were driving southbound in Elkhart County, Indiana when a northbound vehicle crossed over the line and collided with their vehicle head-on

Walorski, 58, and her two aides were driving southbound in Elkhart County, Indiana when a northbound vehicle crossed over the line and collided with their vehicle head-on

Walorski is pictured with her husband Dean and their dog

Walorski is pictured with her husband Dean and their dog 

Thomson, a native of Johnstown, Pa., had previously worked as a communications director for Reps. John Joyce, R-Pa., and Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and as a campaign manager for Joyce. 

Potts, in addition to chairing the St. Joseph GOP, worked a district director for Walorski. He graduated from Indiana University in 2017. 

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