Popular Congresswoman Killed in Accident

Four people, including U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski have died after a crash in Elkhart County.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said the crash happened around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on State Road 19 south of State Road 119. A northbound car traveled left of center, colliding head-on with a southbound vehicle.

Congresswoman Walorski, Zachary Potts with the St. Joseph County Republican Party, and Walorski’s communications director Emma Thomson all died in the crash.

The northbound vehicle driver also died in the crash.

FOX59 will update this article with statements from lawmakers as they come in.

Lawmakers respond to deadly crash

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) tweeted a statement about the crash.

“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. We will have no further comment at this time.

Kevin McCarthy

Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) emailed a statement about the Congresswoman’s death.

“My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie. Jackie was a true public servant –selfless, humble, and compassionate. She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives. 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. From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly. Please join Amanda and I in praying for Jackie’s loved ones and the friends and family of her two staff members who also lost their lives in this tragic accident.”

Rep. Jim Banks

Rod Roberson, mayor of Elkhart, also sent in a statement about the death.

“I am shocked and saddened to learn of Rep. Jackie Walorski’s passing and the passing of her staff members. This is a devastating loss for Elkhart, Indiana, and for the nation. Jackie was a warrior for Hoosiers in Washington and her collaboration and passion was felt right here in Elkhart. Her dedication to serving our community will be hard to replace. Her family, her colleagues, and her staff are in my prayers.

Mayor Rod Roberson

State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) offered the following statement:

“I am shaken and deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Representative Walorski, Zachery Potts and Emma Thompson.”

“Rep. Walorski has represented our community for a decade, and was always fiercely dedicated to her constituents and the betterment of Indiana. My thoughts and condolences are with her loved ones as well as the loved ones of Mr. Potts and Ms. Thompson.”

State Senator David Niezgodski

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also responded to Walorski’s death.

I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the other victims of this terrible crash.

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.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) issued the following statement:

“I’m truly devastated. Jackie loved Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them. I’ll never forget her spirit, her positive attitude, and most importantly her friendship. All of Indiana mourns her passing, along with the tragic deaths of her staff Emma Thomson and Zach Potts. Please join me in praying for their families in this difficult time.”

Sen. Todd Young

Congressman Greg Pence (R- Ind.) also responded to the news:

“Denise and I, and our whole team are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s passing. She was a dear friend and trusted mentor who always had serving Hoosiers at the top of her mind. She worked tirelessly on behalf of the community she loved, and words cannot describe what a tremendous loss this is for the State of Indiana and our Nation. I ask everyone to join me in praying for the Congresswoman’s family, friends, staff and those she served during this difficult time.”

Rep. Greg Pence

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch shared this statement:

“I was shocked and heartbroken when I received the news today about the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. Jackie and I served together in the Indiana House of Representatives, and she was a fighter for her constituents and conservative Hoosier values. My heart goes out to her husband, Dean, and the rest of her family and friends. She will be deeply missed.”

 Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch

Attorney General Todd Rokita provided the following statement on Congresswoman Walorski’s death:

“Jackie Walorski was a woman who stood strong in her values, cared for her family, and served Hoosiers well. I have many great memories and stories of our time together in Congress and on the campaign trail. In addition to everything else, she had a great sense of humor. She will be missed. Our sympathies also go out to the families of Zach Potts and Emma Thomson who died in the same tragic accident. Hoosiers across the state mourn the loss of these public servants.”

Attorney General Todd Rokita

Indiana House Democrats provided the following statement:

Our representatives and staff are valued and cherished members of our team and losing even a single person is heartbreaking, let alone three. Our caucus is sending thoughts, prayers, well wishes and hopes for peace to Rep. Walorski, Zachery and Emma’s families tonight.

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