Republican Jackie Walorski dies in car crash

Indiana Republican Jackie Walorski tragically died in a car crash on Wednesday afternoon after one of her aides drove into wrong-way traffic. 

Walorski, 58, died along with two staffers and a fourth person who was driving the other car, the New York Post reported.

Congresswoman dies in car crash

The Toyota Rav 4 that Walorski was in was driven by her district director, Zachary Potts, 27. For unclear reasons, he drove the car past the center line on a highway, police said. He was killed along with Walorski and her press secretary, 28-year-old Emma Thomson, in a crash around 12:30 p.m.

Police in the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office had initially said that the other driver, Edith Schmucker, 56, had crossed the center line. Schmucker also died.

“The information from the preliminary investigation at the scene, as to the direction of travel of the vehicles, was not correct,” an update said.

Walorski was a five-term congresswoman serving Indiana’s 2nd District, which includes her native South Bend. She served three terms in the state legislature before rising to Congress.

She was on her way to re-election in the solid red district after winning an uncontested primary in May.

Devoted Hoosier

The tragic news of her death led to an outpouring of tributes from members of both parties.

President Biden said that he and Walorski “may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues,” but “she was respected by members of both parties for her work.”

Indiana Senator Todd Young, a Republican, called Walorski someone who “loved Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them.”

Walorski was the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee and served on the Ways and Means Committee. Before entering politics, she was also a television news reporter in South Bend and went to Romania with her husband, Dean Swihart, to perform missionary work for some time.

“She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” a statement from her office said. “Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.”

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