US lawmaker Walorski and two employees killed in Indiana car crash

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

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WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two of her staff were killed on Wednesday when the vehicle they were riding in collided head-on with a car that swerved into their lane, Indiana police and her office said. .

Walorski, 58, a Republican who represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district in the US House of Representatives, was lauded by President Joe Biden and his colleagues in Congress as an honorable public servant who strove to work across party lines to deliver for your constituents. The White House said it would fly flags at half-staff in her memory.

The congresswoman was traveling down an Indiana highway Wednesday afternoon with her communications chief, Emma Thomson, 28, and one of her 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, Edith Schmucker, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene near the northern Indiana town of Nappanee, she added.

Confirming her death in a statement shared on Twitter by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Walorski’s office said, “The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office has just informed Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, that Jackie has died. in a car accident this afternoon.

He added: “Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. We will have no further comment at this time.”

Walorski was a lifelong resident of Indiana, according to his official biography. She served on the House Ways and Means Committee and was the top Republican on the subcommittee on supporting workers and families.

Before her 2012 election to the House, 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 published at her congress. . website.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said he and Walorski “may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but members of both parties respected her for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee.” where he served.”

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 admired by her 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; Edited by Leslie Adler and David Gregory

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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