U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski Dead at 58 After Car Crash

Indiana congresswoman Jackie Walorski and three others were killed in a tragic car accident on Aug. 3. Learn more below.

By Emlyn Travis Aug 03, 2022 10:19 PMTags
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Members of U.S. Congress are mourning the loss of Indiana representative Jackie Walorski, who died in a tragic car accident on Aug. 3.  

The congresswoman, 58, was traveling southbound when a car driving in the opposite direction veered into her lane and collided with the sporting vehicle that she was in head-on, according to a media alert from the Elkhart County Sherriff's Office. Walorski died from her injuries.

Two of Walorski's staff members—Zachery Potts, 27, and Emma Thomson, 28—were also in the vehicle with her and passed away from their injuries. The other driver, Edith Schmucker, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene, per the statement.  

"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," Walorski's Twitter account shared following the accident. "She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers." 

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The Elkhart County Coroner's office and Sherriff's Office are currently conducting an investigation, according to the statement. 

Williams/CQ Roll Call

Following the announcement of her passing, members of Congress all came together to share their condolences on social media.    

"My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie," Indiana representative Jim Banks wrote in a statement. "Jackie was a true public servant—selfless, humble, and compassionate…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." 

He continued, "From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly."

Added Wyoming representative Liz Cheney, "Heartbroken to hear the terrible news about Jackie Walorski, Zachary Potts and Emma Thompson. There was no more dedicated or effective member of Congress than Jackie. I was proud to be her friend."

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also shared he was "shocked and saddened" to hear of Walorski's death.  

"My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the other victims of this terrible crash," he wrote. "Though we came from very different places politically, she was always prepared to work together where there was common ground, always decent and straightforward, and she cared deeply about her work and her constituents."  

And Tennessee representative Chuck Fleischmann remembered Walorski as more than just his co-worker. "Our offices neighbor each other in DC," he shared, "and I was honored to call her my friend."

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