Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorsky was in the car when he and three others died It caused an accident when it turned into oncoming traffic, contrary to initial reports that it was the fault of the other driver, officials said.
CBS Chicago explains that The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office originally said that a Maroon Buick LeSabre, headed south on State Road 19, crossed the center line and collided with a Toyota RAV 4 with Walorsky and two associates heading north on Wednesday afternoon.
But the sheriff’s office said Thursday morning that, based on the new information, it had determined that its initial findings were incorrect. It said additional eyewitnesses and video evidence confirmed that it was RAV4 that had crossed “for reasons unknown at this time” in oncoming traffic.
all three people in RAV 4 – Valorsky, 58; her district director Zachary Potts, 27; and communications director Emma Thomson, 28 – died as a result of the injuries. The driver and Lesabre’s sole occupant – 56-year-old Edith Schmucker – also died in the crash.
Officials said all four were wearing seatbelts and the vehicles’ airbags were deployed.
The crash remains under investigation.
Walorsky was elected to represent Indiana’s Second Congressional District, which includes South Bend, in 2012 after three terms in the State House. 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 Walorsky’s death. “Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Tributes to Walorsky poured in quickly from elected officials on both sides of the aisle and members of the Indiana congressional delegation.
Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the Ways and Means panel, said the lady in Congress was a “happy hoosier” who would light up a room with her joy, passion, talent, and love of life.
“There’s nothing there [Walorski] couldn’t,” he tweeted,
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Democrat from New York, said on twitter He is “absolutely heartbroken” and “my heart goes out to the families of each of the victims,” while fellow Indiana Representative Jim Banks praised Walorsky as a “true public servant – selfless, humble and kind.”
“From my first day in Congress, Jackie has shown me kindness and grace,” he said in a statement. “He had a heart of gold, and I will miss him dearly.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who represented Indiana in the House before serving as the state’s governor from 2013 to 2017, said he and his wife are praying for the families of Walorsky and the families of Potts and Thomson. .
“He served Indiana with integrity and principle in the Statehouse and Congress for nearly two decades and will be deeply missed,” he said in a couple of tweets,
Indiana Sen. Todd Young tweeted that he was “truly devastated” by Walorsky’s death and said that she “loved the Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them. I feel her, her positive.” attitude and most importantly will never forget his friendship.”