Jackie Walorski, the Republican representative for Indiana, died in a car accident on Wednesday (August 3). The accident also killed two of Walorski’s staffers.
According to the Elkhart Sherriff’s Office, “a northbound passenger car traveled left of center and collided head-on with the southbound sports utility vehicle. All three occupants in the southbound vehicle died as a result of their injuries.”
An outpour of grief and remembrance began on Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the tragedy as lawmakers and aides paid tribute to the lives and careers of the congresswoman and her two staffers.
The 58-year-old Walorski represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District and had previously served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives. She was elected to Congress in 2012 and began serving in 2013.
“Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed by 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,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted.
He added in a follow-up tweet, “This news is absolutely devastating. Jackie was a dear friend, trusted advisor, and the embodiment of integrity who achieved the admiration and respect of all her colleagues in the House. She always put others first.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in recognition of Walorski’s death and said she “lived a life of service” and “was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.”
Walorski died in a head-on vehicle crash with two members of her staff, Zach Potts and Emma Thomson. In a statement released by the congresswoman’s office, the two staffers were “the epitome of public servants who cared deeply about the work they performed.”