Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) was killed in a car crash on Wednesday, local authorities and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) confirmed. She was 58.
The crash occurred at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday between two vehicles near the intersection of SR 19 and SR 119 near Nappanee, authorities told local media.
In a statement, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said that “a northbound passenger car traveled left of center and collided head-on with a southbound sports utility vehicle.”
All three occupants in the southbound vehicle died in the crash. They were identified by authorities as Rep. Walorski, 58, Elkhart, Indiana; Zachery Potts, 27, Mishawaka, Indiana; Emma Thomson, 28, Washington, DC. The occupant of the other vehicle, identified as 56-year-old Edith Schmucker, was also pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
Thomson was a member of Walorski’s staff, and Potts was the head of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, according to the South Bend Tribune.
The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating the incident. Other details about the incident were not provided by officials.
In January 2021, Walorski became the ranking member of the House Ethics Committee. She also served on the House Ways and Means Committee and also worked as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.
Walorski, a Republican, was a lifelong resident of Indiana, according to her biography. The congresswoman has represented Indiana’s 2nd District since 2013.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) issued a statement after her death, saying that Walorski’s husband, Dean, “was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon.”
He called on people to “please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.”
“Just seeing the awful news about Rep. Jackie Walorski. Heartbreaking. I’ll be praying for her family after this awful and shocking tragedy. May God surround and comfort them all,” wrote Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) on Twitter.
“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. Jackie Walorski, two others killed in crash,” added Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) 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,” wrote Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) wrote that Walorski had a “heart of gold” and said “everything Jackie did was to serve others.”