US Congresswoman Walorski, two staffers killed in Indiana car accident

By Rami Ayyub

(Reuters) – U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two members of her staff died Wednesday when the vehicle they were driving collided head-on with a car moving into their lane, Indiana police and her office said.

Walorski, 58, a Republican who represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, was mourned as an honorable civil servant who strived to work cross-party to perform for her voters. The White House said it would fly flags at half-mast in commemoration.

The congresswoman was on her way to Indiana Wednesday afternoon with her chief of communications, Emma Thomson, 28, and one of her district directors, Zachery Potts, 27, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said.

“A northbound passenger car drove to the left of downtown and collided head-on” with Walorski’s vehicle, killing all three occupants, the sheriff’s office said. The driver of the other car, 56-year-old Edith Schmucker, was pronounced dead at the scene, near the northern Indiana town of Nappanee.

Walorski’s office confirmed her death in a statement shared on Twitter by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy: “Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, has just been notified by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon.”

It added: “Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. We will not comment further at this time.”

Walorski was a lifelong resident of Indiana, according to her official biography. She served on the House Ways and Means Committee and served as the highest-ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Workers and Families Support.

Prior to her 2012 election to the United States House of Representatives, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana legislature, spent four years as a missionary in Romania with her husband, and worked as a television journalist in South Bend, according to a biography on her website. Congress. website.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat who previously served as mayor of South Bend, wrote on Twitter: “Although we came from very different places politically, she was always willing to work together where there was common ground”.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Walorski was “passionately taking the votes of her voters in Northern India to Congress, and she was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.”

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub, Eric Beech, Dan Whitcomb, Costas Pitas and Frank McGurty; editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)

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