Tragic Car Crash in Indiana Kills Indiana Congresswoman, Indiana Staff


Indiana Congresswoman, Staff and Victims in Tragic Car Crash

Support continues to come in from people who loved and knew Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-IN, talks with guests at the Kosciusko County Republican Fish Fry in Warsaw, Ind., on April 4, 2018. Photo by Tom Williams/Getty Images

Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski was killed in a head-on collision on Indiana’s State Road 19 midday Wednesday, August 3. The congresswoman was 58 years old, and served in Congress since 2013. The legislator’s district director Zachery Potts, 27, and communications director Emma Thomson, 28, also died in the incident. The driver of the other vehicle, 56-year-old Edith Schmucker, was pronounced dead on the scene.

Potts was the Chairman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party. Thomson worked at Capitol Hill.

The district of the late Congresswoman was located along Indiana’s northern boundary and included South Bend, Elkhart and Goshen.

Gage Holder is a rising senior from Taylor University, Upland in Indiana. He recently completed a Capitol Hill internship at Rep. Walorski’s office. He shared with The American Conservative that Congresswoman Walorski “was a true public servant who walked humblely and displayed the joy of God in her work .”

Holder revealed that Thomson was a new-born niece. She said she enjoyed her coffee in her Indiana-themed mug and made interns feel welcome .”

Walorski served as the top ranking member of Committee on Ethics and was a member both of the Republican Study Committee and of the Committee on Ways and Means.

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Rep. Jim Banks (R, IN-3), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, called Walorski “a true public servant–selfless, humble, and compassionate. She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives.”

Robert Lighthizer was a former United States Trade Representative, who served with Walorski in her role on the Ways and Means Committee. He said The American Conservative that Jackie “was an effective representative and wonderful person. All who had the pleasure of knowing her will be deeply missed, professionally as well as personally. “

TAC‘s Curt Mills reported in May of last year that Walorski was being considered to succeed Liz Cheney as chair of the House Republican Conference, a position currently held by New York’s Elise Stefanik.

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said that she was “devastated to learn of the passing of my good friend, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. She was an outstanding public servant and leader for the Republican Party. All of us at the Republican National Committee are praying for her and the family of two other staff members who died tragically .”


Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, which is positioned in the late congresswoman’s district, said in a statement that Walorski “was always a gracious and welcoming supporter of Notre Dame students in Washington, D.C., and frequently invited our faculty to testify on issues before Congress.”

D. Michael Lindsay, Ph.D., president of Walorski’s alma mater Taylor University, called the congresswoman “a remarkable public servant and wonderful ambassador for the faith.”

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According to a Wall Street Journal 2012 biography, Walorski worked as a television reporter for WSBT-TV in South Bend, and then as executive director for the St. Joseph County Humane Society.

A 2006 article in the Howey Political Report said Walorski “served in Eastern Europe as a missionary and worked with businesses there to establish American contacts.” To recognize her missionary work, she was honored in 2017 by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis as a commander in the Order of the Star of Romania, the country’s highest civil honor.

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Prior to her service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Walorski served in the 21st district of the Indiana House of Representatives, located in Elkhart, Indiana, from 2005-2010.

Potts worked for the congresswoman in campaign and governmental roles since June 2015, and Thomson worked in the governmental position since July 2021.

May they rest in peace.

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