“Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just notified by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She 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 comments at this time.”
Walorski, 58, was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Route 19 south of Route 119, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver of the northbound vehicle was traveling left of the center line and collided head-on with a sports car driven by Walorski and employees Zachery Potts, 27, and Emma Thomson, 28. All three occupants of the southbound vehicle died from their injuries. Edith Schmucker, 56, was the only person in the other vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ordered flags on the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff in Walorski’s memory.
“A lifelong Hoosier, Congresswoman Walorski has lived a life of service: caring for underprivileged children in Romania, representing her community in the Indiana State House, or serving in the House for nearly a decade,” Pelosi said in a statement. “She passionately brought the votes of her northern Indiana constituents to Congress and was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.”
Walorski has served in Congress since 2013, representing the 2nd Congressional District. She was the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The South Bend, Ind., native worked in journalism and academia before retiring in 2012. was elected to Congress. She was a religious conservative, educated at Christian colleges and did mission work before coming to Capitol Hill.
McCarthy 2021 initially appointed her to a Republican position on the sensitive Ethics Committee, the evenly divided panel that handles investigations of lawmakers.
“I am honored to take on the important responsibility of ensuring that members of the House are held to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and ethical conduct,” she said in a statement upon receiving the appointment.
President Biden, who ordered flags to be flown at the White House in honor of the congresswoman, released a statement saying he and first lady Jill Biden were shocked and deeply saddened by Walorski’s death.
“We may have been from different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House committee she served on,” Biden said.
Fellow Republicans expressed their grief Wednesday shortly after news of Walorski’s death was announced.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called Walorski a “good friend.”
“She has been an incredible public servant for Hoosiers and a leader in the Republican Party,” McDaniel said in a statement. “The entire Republican National Committee is praying for her family, as well as the families of the two staff members who were also tragically killed.”
Sen. Todd C. Young (R-Ind.) tweeted that he was “truly devastated.”
“Jackie loved Hoosiers and dedicated her life to fighting for them,” he wrote. “I will never forget her spirit, her positive attitude and most of all her friendship.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted that he was praying for the families of Walorski and her staff.
“Devastated to hear the terrible news of the deaths of Jackie Walorski and two of her staff,” Scalise wrote. “She was a dear friend who loved serving the people of Indiana in Congress.
If Republicans take over the House after November’s midterm elections, Walorski would have been eligible to chair the Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee. Walorski, an evangelical Christian, was known for his conservative stances on social issues.
Earlier this month, she opposed the Women’s Health Care Act and the Abortion Access Act, calling the Democrats’ position on abortion “dangerous” and extreme.
“At Speaker Pelosi’s urging, House Democrats have once again voted to allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy, anywhere in the country, with American taxpayers funding it,” Walorski said in a statement. “Abortion on demand is a direct violation of the values of life and the conscience rights of Americans.
Walorski, a supporter of Donald Trump, voted against impeaching the former president in 2021 for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building that killed one police officer and four others and injured more than 100 law enforcement officers. She also voted against upholding Democrat Joe Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania in 2020. in the presidential election.