The Elkhart County Sheriff's office has released the following information regarding a Wednesday auto accident that killed District 2 U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski:
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle crash on SR 19 south of SR 119 at 12:32 p.m. 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 as a result of their injuries:
Jackie Walorski, 58, Elkhart
Zachery Potts, 27, Mishawaka
Emma Thomson, 28, Washington, DC
The sole occupant of the northbound vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation.
The following are posts and reactions to Walorski's passing
This message from Walorski's 2nd Congressional District Twitter account earlier this afternoon: Dean Swihart, 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.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“Today, the United States House of Representatives sadly mourns the sudden and tragic passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.
“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. 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.
“Our Congressional community also mourns the loss of two devoted members of her staff, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson. May it be a comfort to Jackie’s husband and partner in service, Dean, the entire Walorski family, the families of all the victims and the office of Indiana’s Second Congressional District that so many join them in mourning and are praying for them at this sad time.”
Governor Eric J. Holcomb
"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.”
Senator Mike Braun
“Jackie Walorski was a tireless advocate for the Hoosiers she represented and a kind friend to everyone she met. She faithfully served her constituents and her Lord and Savior, and I trust she is now wrapped in the arms of Christ. This is a devastating loss, and we grieve for her two staff members – Zach and Emma – who had their whole lives ahead of them. Please join me and Maureen in praying for the families and friends of those lost on this tragic day for Indiana.”
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch
"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."
Congressman Jim Banks
“My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie. Jackie was a true public servant –selfless, humble, and compassionate. She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives. Everything Jackie did was to serve others. Before Congress, she served in the Indiana Statehouse and she and her husband served as missionaries in Romania where they provided impoverished children food and medical care. From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly. Please join Amanda and I in praying for Jackie’s loved ones and the friends and family of her two staff members who also lost their lives in this tragic accident.”
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels
Before serving in Congress, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse (2004-2010), where she became assistant floor leader and worked closely with then-Gov. Daniels.
“There could not be worse news. I’m heartsick at this tragedy. Jackie Walorski was a great public servant, a brave and constant ally for change during all my years in elected office, and a great representative of her district at both the state and national levels. I can’t say how much I’ll miss her.”
Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Jackie Walorski. Jackie loved Hoosiers, her country and served with honor in Congress. My prayers are with her family as well as the families of Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson”