A fatal car crash on Route 19 in Elkhart County, Indiana claimed the lives of Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, her two aides, and the other driver involved. The sport-utility vehicle carrying the congresswoman included Wolorski – 58, her Communications Director Emma Thomson – 28, and District Director Zachary Potts – 27. The sole occupant driving in the opposite direction was Edith Schmucker – 56.
Initially, the sheriff’s office said the northbound car traveled left of center, colliding with the southbound vehicle that carried Walorski and others. However, the department released another statement saying that “eyewitness and video evidence” confirmed Jackie’s vehicle crossed the centerline, for unknown reasons at this time, and the two vehicles collided. According to the department, Potts was driving. Occupants of both vehicles were confirmed to be wearing seatbelts and airbags successfully deployed. Reconstruction crews and the sheriff’s department are continuing an ongoing investigation into the crash.
Serving previously as a state lawmaker, Jackie was elected to Congress in 2012, representing the 2nd Congressional District and was running for her sixth term this fall. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy named her the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee and she was set to be chairman of the bipartisan committee if Republicans won the majority in November. McCarthy released a statement saying, “This news is absolutely devastating. Jackie was a dear friend, trusted advisor, and the embodiment of integrity who achieved the admiration and respect of all her colleagues in the House.” President Joe Biden offered his condolences stating, “We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee on which she served.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags to be flown at half-staff at the U.S. Capitol and President Biden ordered them at the White House in memory of Walorski.
There are many outside factors that can contribute to fatal car accidents such as:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Inattentive drivers
- Vehicle defects
Our personal injury attorneys handle Cleveland car accidents that result in both catastrophic injury and death. At Tittle & Perlmuter we are working to make our community’s roads safer. Our team hopes you never have to encounter loss as result of an accident, but it’s important to seek legal advice and have an experienced attorney on your side if you do. Call a lawyer after a vehicle crash to discuss your legal options.