US Representative Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana’s 2nd district, has been killed in an automobile accident.
According to multiple local news outlets Ms Walorski died following a crash in Elkhart County at 12.32 pm local time on Wednesday, August 3. Walorski District Director Zachery Potts, 27, and her Communications Director Emma Thomson, 28, also died in the two-car collision.
Their deaths were confirmed by the sheriff’s office in a Facebook post. “A northbound passenger car traveled left of center and collided head on” with Walorski’s vehicle, the sheriff’s office wrote. The driver of that car was also killed.
“Devastated to hear the horrible news of the passing of Jackie Walorski and her two staffers,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., tweeted. “She was a dear friend who loved serving the people of Indiana in Congress.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was traveling in Asia, ordered the flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor of Walorski and her staffers, her spokesman said.
A lifelong Hoosier, Congresswoman Walorski lived a life of service: whether caring for impoverished children in Romania, representing her community in the Indiana Statehouse or serving nearly a decade in the House,” Pelosi said in a statement. “She passionately brought the voices of her north Indiana constituents to the Congress, and she was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.”
The White House said it will fly flags at half-staff on Wednesday and Thursday in memory of Walorski.
According to the news stations, Ms Walorski’s vehicle was struck head-on by a driver who crossed over into oncoming traffic; the driver of that vehicle died as well.
The Indiana Republican served on the House Ethics Committee and was considered a potential contender for a future leadership position, having in the past served on the team of Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
President Joe Biden offered his condolences in a statement Wednesday, saying that he and first lady Jill Biden were “shocked and saddened” when they heard about the car crash.
“Jill and I are shocked and saddened by the death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana along with two members of her staff in a car accident today in Indiana. Born in her beloved South Bend as the daughter of a meat-cutter and firefighter, she spent a lifetime serving the community that she grew up in – as a journalist, a nonprofit director, a state legislator, and eventually as a Member of Congress for the past nine and half years,” said Mr Biden.
“We send our deepest condolences to her husband, Dean, to the families of her staff members, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson, who lost their lives in public service, and to the people of Indiana’s Second District who lost a representative who was one of their own,” added the president.