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Indiana GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski killed in auto crash

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski died Wednesday in a car crash in Elkhart County.
  • The Republican congresswoman’s two aides who were riding in the same vehicle were also killed.
  • The 58-year-old Walorski was first elected in 2012.

Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed Wednesday in a car crash near Nappanee, according to Indiana police.

The Indiana congresswoman and two others riding in the same southbound SUV died in the head-on collision with another vehicle, whose driver was also killed, according to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

The other passengers in Walorski’s vehicle were identified as St. Joseph County Republican Party Chair Zachery Potts, 27, and Walorski’s communications director, 28-year-old Emma Thomson. Walorski was 58.

Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a brief statement on Twitter Wednesday, saying, “It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this statement from the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.”

“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,” reads the statement.

Walorski has represented Indiana’s District 2 since 2013. She earned the Republican nomination for reelection in May and was slated to defend her congressional seat against Democratic challenger Paul Steury in November’s midterm elections.

Before serving in Washington, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse.

According to a biography on her website, Walorski and her husband spent four years as missionaries in Romania, running a foundation they started to help children get food and medical supplies.

Walorski was a former TV news reporter in South Bend and also worked as a development director for Indiana’s colleges and universities, according to her bio.

“The daughter of a firefighter, small business owner, and Air Force veteran, Jackie was raised with the Hoosier values of hard work, determination, and public service,” the bio reads. “She brings these values to her service to the 2nd District of Indiana. Jackie and Dean, a Mishawaka school teacher, live in Jimtown.”

According to local authorities, the two-car crash occurred when an incoming car veered left of center and hit the vehicle carrying Walorski and her two aides.  

An investigation into the crash by Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.

Source: Politico

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