Representative Jackie Wallorsky, Indiana Republic, killed in a car crash

Representative Jackie Wallorsky (R-India) and three others, including two of her staff, They were killed in a car crash Wednesday afternoon, according to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

“With a sad heart I share this statement from the office of Representative Jackie Walorsky,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in a Twitter announcement, posting an image that included the following text:

“Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, has just been reported by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has come 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 in this time “.

Walorsky, 58, was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Route 19 south of Route 119, according to the sheriff’s office, which also killed her employees Zachary Potts, 27, and Emma Thompson, 28, the ship’s driver. Another vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56. Schmucker, of Nappanee, Indiana, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Thursday, the mayor’s office said in a statement that the SUV being driven by Potts was heading north on Route 19 when it “crossed the center line for reasons unknown at this time and the two cars collided.” The SUV hit Schmucker’s Buick LeSabre, which was heading south.

The mayor’s office said the initial investigation at the scene and the initial calculation of the direction of the vehicles and which ones crossed the center line were not correct. The office said the new account is based on witnesses and video evidence, adding that an investigation is underway.

The mayor’s office said it was confirmed that all occupants of the two cars were wearing seat belts, and airbags were deployed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has ordered flags at the US Capitol to be flown to half-staff in memory of Walorsky.

“Congresswoman Walorsky has lived a lifetime of service: whether she’s been caring for poor children in Romania, representing her community at the Indiana Statehouse or serving nearly a decade in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said in a statement. “She has enthusiastically brought the votes of her northern Indiana constituents to Congress, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle have admired her for her personal kindness.”

Walorski has served in Congress since 2013 representing the second congressional district. She was the highest ranking Republican member of the House Ethics Committee and was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The South Bend, Indiana native, worked in journalism and academia before being elected to Congress in 2012. A religious conservative, she was educated at Christian colleges and did missionary work before coming to Capitol Hill.

McCarthy appointed her in early 2021 as a Republican on the Sensitive Ethics Committee, an evenly divided committee that handles investigations with lawmakers.

“I am honored to assume the important responsibility of holding members of the House of Representatives to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and ethical behavior,” she said in a statement after receiving this appointment.

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President Biden, who has ordered half of the White House staff to honor the congresswoman, issued a statement saying that he and First Lady Jill Biden were “shocked and deeply saddened” by Walorsky’s death.

“We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the Ways and Means Committee on which she served,” Biden said.

Our Republican colleagues expressed their grief on Wednesday, shortly after the news of Walorsky’s death was announced.

Republican National Committee chairwoman Rona McDaniel called Walorsky a “good friend.”

“She was a wonderful public servant at Hoosiers and a leader within the Republican Party,” McDaniel said in a statement. “The entire Republican National Committee is praying for her family, as well as for the families of the two staff members who were tragically killed.”

Senator Todd C. Young (R-India) tweeted that he was “really broken.”

“Jackie loved the Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them,” he wrote. “I will never forget her spirit, her positive attitude, and most importantly her friendship.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted that he was praying for the Walorski families and staff.

“I am shocked to hear the horrific news of the passing of Jackie Walorsky and her staff,” Scales wrote. “She was a dear friend who loved serving the people of Indiana in Congress.”

In the event of a Republican takeover of the House after the November midterm elections, Valorsky was on his way to head the Working and Family Support Subcommittee in Ways and Means. Walorski, an evangelical Christian, was known for her conservative stances on social issues.

Earlier this month, she opposed the Protection of Women’s Health Act and the Guaranteed Abortion Access Act, calling Democrats’ stance on abortion “dangerous” and “extreme.”

“At Speaker Pelosi’s call, members of the House of Representatives have voted once again in favor of abortion anytime during pregnancy, anywhere in the country, with funding from American taxpayers,” Wallorsky said in a statement. “Abortion on demand is a direct affront to the pro-life values ​​and rights of conscience of Americans.”

Walorsky, a supporter of Donald Trump, voted against the president’s impeachment in 2021 for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, which killed a police officer and four others and injured more than 100 law enforcement officers. She also voted against confirming Democrat Joe Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election.

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