US legislator Walorski, demise of two workers members in Indiana automotive accident

WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – U.S. Marshal Jackie Walorski and two crew members died on Wednesday when the vehicle they were traveling in collided head-on with a car that had swerved into its lane, police said in Indiana and her office.

President Joe Biden and her colleagues in Congress hailed Walorski, 58, a Republican who represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, as an honorable public servant who strived to work across party lines to deliver for their constituents. The White House said that half of the staff would fly flags in their memory.

The congressman was traveling down the Indiana road Wednesday afternoon with his chief communications officer, Emma Thomson, 28, and one of his district directors, Zachery Potts, 27, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said.

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“A northbound passenger car traveled left of center 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 town of Nappanee in northern Indiana, he said.

Confirming her death in a statement shared on Twitter by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, Walorski’s office said: “Elkhart County Sheriff Dean Swihart’s office just announced that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon.”

Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) as US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks to the House Select Committee on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, October 2, 2020. J .Scott Applewhite/Swimming via REUTERS

He added: “Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. We will have no further comment 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 was the top Republican on the worker and family support subcommittee.

Before being elected to the House in 2012, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana legislature, spent four years as a missionary in Romania with her husband and worked as a television news reporter in South Bend, according to a biography posted on its conference. website.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said he and Walorski “may represent different parties and disagree on many issues, but members of both parties respected her for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee on which she was serving”.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, said in a statement that Walorski “passionately brought the voices of her northern Indiana constituents to Congress, and was respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.”

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

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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