Republican congresswoman Jackie Walorski, two aides killed in tragic car crash

Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, of Indiana, died tragically in a car crash near her native South Bend on Wednesday. She was 58.

Two aides of Walorski’s and the driver of a second vehicle also died in the head-on collision in Elkhart County, Fox News reported.

Republican lawmaker dies in car crash

The sheriff of Elkhart County said that the vehicle in which Walorski was riding crossed the center line and struck the other car.

Walorski was killed, along with her district director Zachery Potts, 27, and communications director Emma Thomson, 28. Potts was driving the car. The driver of the second vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56, was also killed.

Initially, police said that Schmucker had crossed into wrong-way traffic, but the authorities clarified to say that information was wrong.

“The information from the preliminary investigation at the scene, as to the direction of travel of the vehicles, was not correct. The continuing investigation has located eyewitness and video evidence,” the sheriff’s office said.

A statement from Walorski’s office said she “has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” and asked for prayers for her family.

Tragic death elicits tributes across the aisle

Before entering politics, Walorski worked as a television news reporter in South Bend and as a development director for Indiana colleges and universities, according to a bio on her website. She and her husband Dean spent four years as missionaries in Romania and set up a charity there for poor children.

Walorski was first elected to Indiana’s Second District in 2012 after serving three terms in the state legislature.

Politicians from across the aisle paid tribute to Walorski in the wake of the terrible tragedy.

“Her Midwestern values of hard work, fairness and kindness were a model for members,” said Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ordered flags at the Capitol lowered in mourning.

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