Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, killed in northern Indiana car crash

4:36 P.M. UPDATE

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed Wednesday in a car accident in her northern Indiana District, according to her office.

“Jackie’s husband, was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has returned home 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,” her office said in a statement.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to the scene of a two-vehicle crash shortly after noon. Police said a car traveled left of the center lane and collided head-on with an SUV Walorski was riding in, killing Walorski, 58, and two others in the vehicle.

Also killed were  two others in Walorski’s vehicle, Zachery Potts and Emma Thompson.

Police identified the driver of the other vehicle in the crash as 56-year old Edith Schmucker of Nappanee, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Walorski has been the congresswoman representing District 2 since 2012.

Walorski, who served on the House Ways and Means Committee, was first elected to represent Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012. She previously served three terms in the state’s legislature.

Walorski, was born in South Bend and lived near Elkhart, Indiana. She and her husband were previously missionaries in Romania, where they established a foundation that provided food and medical supplies to impoverished children. She worked as a television news reporter in South Bend before her turn to politics.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana was killed Wednesday in car accident, her office says.

Reports indicate the accident happened in Nappanee, which is in northern Indiana. The two-vehicle crash was reported at 12:32 p.m. Wednesday near State Raod 19 and State Road 119.

Also killed were  two others in Walorski’s vehicle, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson.

Police identified the driver of the other vehicle in the crash as 56-year old Edith Schmucker of Nappanee, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Walorski has been the congresswoman representing District 2 since 2012.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) today issued the following statement on the death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two members of her staff: “I’m truly devastated. Jackie loved Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them. 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.”

State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) offered the following statement: “I am shaken and deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Representative Walorski, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson.”

“Rep. Walorski has represented our community for a decade, and was always fiercely dedicated to her constituents and the betterment of Indiana. My thoughts and condolences are with her loved ones as well as the loved ones of Mr. Potts and Ms. Thompson.”

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch shared this statement upon hearing the news U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, (R-Ind.), was killed in an automobile accident earlier today:

“I was shocked and heartbroken when I received the news today about the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. Jackie and I served together in the Indiana House of Representatives, and she was a fighter for her constituents and conservative Hoosier values. My heart goes out to her husband, Dean, and the rest of her family and friends. She will be deeply missed.”

Governor Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statement regarding the passing of U.S. Representative Jackie Walorksi.

“Janet and I are devastated by the tragic loss of our friend Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and her two staffers – Emma Thomson and Zach Potts – earlier today. Our broken hearts go out to her husband Dean and the entire family during this time of unimaginable mourning. At every level of public service Jackie was known to be a positive force of nature, a patriot, and a relentless policy maker with an unwavering loyalty to her constituents. Jackie’s record of achievement is impossible to quantify. She will be remembered as a fighter with a huge heart that always went the extra mile and I’ll treasure the times we walked a few of those together. Every waking moment for her was energetically devoted to improving the lives of all Hoosiers better, the epitome of a good and faithful servant. She, and the example she set, will be missed every day forward.”

Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff in honor of U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski.

Flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until the date of her burial.

Gov. Holcomb is asking businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags.