Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and two of her staffers were killed in a car crash Wednesday, authorities said. Walorski was 58.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy first confirmed Walorski’s death in a tweet earlier on Wednesday.
McCarthy said the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office notified Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, of her death Wednesday afternoon.
Walorski District Director Zachery Potts, 27, and Communications Director Emma Thomson, 28, also died in the two-car collision. Their deaths were confirmed by the sheriff’s office i 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.
“It is devastating to hear the terrible news of the death of Jackie Walorski and her two staff members,” Minority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., tweeted. “She was a dear friend and loved serving the people of Indiana in Congress.”
Walorski, a former Indiana state attorney, was first elected to Congress in 2012 and was running for his sixth term this fall. She was well liked by her Republican and Democratic colleagues in the House, where she was close to McCarthy and his leadership team.
McCarthy named her the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee, and she was slated to chair the bipartisan committee if Republicans won a majority in November.
Many of her colleagues in the Indiana delegation tweeted their condolences shortly after her death was announced.
“I am truly devastated. Jackie loved Hoosiers and spent her life fighting for them,” tweeted Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., who served with Walorski in the House. “I will never forget her spirit, her positive attitude, and most importantly her friendship.”
“My heart is heavy with the news from northern Indiana. Jackie was a true friend & an incredible colleague,” tweeted Rep. Jim Baird, R-Ind. “Guisers have lost a champion and a dedicated public servant.”