ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WXIN) – Four people, including U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-In.), died in a car crash in Elkhart County, Indiana, on Wednesday.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said the crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on State Road 19, south of State Road 119. A northbound car traveled left of center, colliding head-on with a southbound vehicle.
Congresswoman Walorski, along with Zachary Potts of the St. Joseph County Republican Party and Walorski’s communications director Emma Thompson, all died in the crash.
The northbound vehicle driver was also pronounced dead.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared a statement in response to Walorski’s passing, saying his “heart is broken” for her family and friends.
“Jackie was a true public servant — selfless, humble, and compassionate,” he wrote. “She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives. Everything Jackie did was to serve others. Before Congress, she served in the Indiana Statehouse and she and her husband served as missionaries in Romania where they provided impoverished children food and medical care. From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly. Please join Amanda and I in praying for Jackie’s loved ones and the friends and family of her two staff members who also lost their lives in this tragic accident.”
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg added that Walorski, despite being from a “very different” political background than he, was “always prepared to work together where there was common ground, always decent and straightforward, and she cared deeply about her work and her constituents.”
Rod Roberson, mayor of Elkhart, and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), also said they were devastated by Walorski’s tragic death, adding that they would be keeping her in their prayers.
Walorski, 58, was born in South Bend, Indiana. She took office as the U.S. representative for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district in 2013.