Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, 2 Staffers Killed in Car Accident
Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed Wednesday in a vehicular crash in her northern Indiana district along with two members of her congressional staff and another person.
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.
— Jackie Walorski (@RepWalorski) August 3, 2022
The crash happened about 12:30 p.m. when a car crossed the center line on a state highway and collided head-on with the SUV Walorski was riding in.
Three people in the SUV, including Walorski, 58, were killed, as was a woman driving the other car.
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 six years in the state’s Legislature.
“She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers,” Walorski’s chief of staff Tim Cummings said in a statement.
Walorski and her husband, Dean Swihart, were previously Christian 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 turning to politics.
Also killed in the crash were Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka, Indiana; Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington, D.C.; and Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, Indiana.
Emma Thomson was an office neighbor of ours on the Hill for years and one of the absolute nicest people on earth. Her loss is deeply tragic — as is Rep. Walorski’s, their district director and everyone involved. Prayers for their families.
— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) August 3, 2022
Cummings confirmed that Potts and Thomson were members of Walorski’s congressional staff. Thomson was Walorski’s communications director, while Potts was her district director and the Republican chairman for northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County.
Schmucker was driving the other car. The crash, which occurred in a rural area near the town of Wakarusa, is still under investigation.
Walorski was seeking reelection this year to a sixth term in the solidly Republican district. She was 58.
RIP Jacqueline R. Walorski (August 17, 1963 – August 3, 2022)