Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., was killed Wednesday in a car crash in her home state of Indiana.
A statement was shared on Twitter by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday afternoon from the Indiana representative’s office confirming her death in Elkhart County in northern Indiana.
According to the statement, Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, learned of her death from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office. The Elkhart County Sheriff’s office has not responded to the media’s request for further comment.
A member of Walorski’s staff, Emma Thomson, and Zach Potts, chairman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, were also killed in the tragic accident, according to the South Bend Tribune.
The newspaper reported that Walorski’s vehicle was traveling on a state route in Elkhart County. A car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and the two vehicles hit head-on.
Walorski, 58, was born in South Bend, Indiana. She was first elected to Congress in 2012. Before her time in Washington, she served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse.
Before serving in politics, she served as a missionary in Romania and spent time as a television news reporter. She was also a development director in higher education.
There has been an outpouring of care and concern from her home state as well as from her colleagues in Washington on both sides of the aisle.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a prepared statement that he was “devastated” to learn of Walorski’s death.
“She was a champion for the people of Indiana, and she will be remembered for her kindness, tenacity, and commitment to helping others,” he said. “Jackie and her staffers died serving her constituents. They will be missed, and our nation will miss their service. My prayers are with Jackie’s loving husband Dean, her entire family, and the families of both of her staffers.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Congress had “lost one of our best.”
“Rep. Jackie Walorski was a true leader/legislator and the most thoughtful person one could hope to meet. She was dedicated and determined, and the kindest of colleagues — with the heart to match,” he said in a prepared statement.
She will be missed.