Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s SUV veered into oncoming traffic before fatal crash

The car Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski was driving in when she and three others died was the one who caused an accident when he swerved into oncoming traffic, contrary to initial reports that it was the fault of the other driver, authorities said.

CBS Chicago points out that The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office initially said a maroon Buick LeSabre heading south on State Road 19 crossed the center line and struck the Toyota RAV 4 in which Walorski and two assistants were heading toward the north Wednesday afternoon.

But the sheriff’s office said Thursday morning that, based on new information, it determined its preliminary findings were incorrect. He said eyewitnesses and additional video evidence confirmed it was RAV 4 that drove through oncoming traffic “for reasons unknown at this time”.

The three people in RAV 4 — Walorski, 58; his district manager Zachery Potts, 27; and communications director Emma Thomson, 28 – died of their injuries. The driver and sole occupant of the LeSabre — Edith Schmucker, 56 — also died in the accident.

Officials said all four were wearing seat belts and the vehicles airbags deployed.

The accident is still under investigation.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill on legislation that would increase accountability for the Department of Veterans Affairs, April 3, 2014.

Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Walorski was elected to represent Indiana’s 2nd congressional district, which includes South Bend, in 2012 after serving three terms in the Statehouse. She was the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee and also served on the Ways and Means Committee.

“She has gone home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement about Walorski’s death. “Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Tributes for Walorski quickly poured in from elected officials on both sides of the aisle and members of the Indiana congressional delegation.

Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the Ways and Means panel, said the MP was “the ‘happy Hoosier’ who would light up a room with her joy, passion, sparkle and love of life”.

“There is nothing [Walorski] couldn’t do”, he tweeted.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, said on Twitter she is “absolutely heartbroken” and “my heart goes out to the families of each of the victims”, while fellow Indiana Rep. Jim Banks hailed Walorski as a “true public servant – selfless, humble and compassionate”.

“From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace,” he said in a statement. “She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her very much.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who also represented Indiana in the House before serving as state governor from 2013 to 2017, said he and his wife are praying for Walorski’s family and the families of Potts and Thomson.

“She served Indiana in the State House and Congress with integrity and principle for nearly two decades and will be deeply missed,” he said in a statement. pair of tweets.

Indiana Senator Todd Young tweeted that he was “truly devastated” by Walorski’s death and said she “loved Hoosiers and dedicated her life to fighting for them. I will never forget his spirit, his positive attitude and, above all, his friendship.”

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