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

The car in which Indiana congresswoman Jackie Valowski was riding She and three others died Authorities said the car caused the crash when it veered into oncoming traffic, contrary to initial reports that the other driver was at fault.

CBS Chicago pointed out The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office initially said a maroon Buick LeSabre was traveling south on State Route 19, crossed the centerline, and rammed into a Toyota RAV 4 that Walorski and two assistants were heading north on Wednesday afternoon.

But the sheriff’s office said Thursday morning that based on new information, it had determined that its preliminary findings were incorrect. It said additional witnesses and video evidence confirmed that it was the RAV 4 that entered the oncoming vehicle “for reasons currently unknown”.

All three in RAV 4 — Walorski, 58; her district director, Zachery Potts, 27; and communications director Emma Thomson, 28, died of her injuries. LeSabre’s driver and sole passenger, Edith Schmucker, 56, also died in the crash.

All four were wearing seat belts and the vehicle’s airbags did deploy, officials said.

The crash is still under investigation.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on April 3, 2014, about legislation to increase accountability for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Photo credited by Tom Williams/CQ

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 returned home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement on Varowski’s death. “Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. middle.”

Elected officials on both sides of the aisle and members of the Indiana congressional delegation were quick to salute Valorsky.

Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the fundraising group, said the congresswoman was a “‘happy Indian’ who would use her joy, enthusiasm, talent and love of life Light up a room.”

“Nothing [Walorski] can’t,” he said. tweet.

Democratic Rep. Caroline Maloney from New York, say on twitter She was “totally heartbroken” and “my heart goes out to each victim’s family”, while Indiana Rep. Jim Banks praised Wallowski as “a true public servant – selfless, humble and compassionate” “.

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

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who also represented Indiana in the House before serving as the state’s 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 with integrity and principle in the State House and Congress for nearly two decades and will be deeply missed,” he said in a statement. a pair of tweets.

Indiana Senator Todd Young tweeted that he was “deeply shocked” by Wallowski’s death and said she “loved Indiana people and fought for them all my life. I will never forget her Spirit, her positive attitude, and most importantly, her friendship.”

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