Police have changed their description of the crash that killed U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana, saying Thursday that it was the SUV in which she was a passenger that crossed a state highway’s centerline and caused the head-on crash.
Walorski, a Republican, and two members of her congressional staff died in the Wednesday afternoon crash in northern Indiana, along with the woman driving the other vehicle, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said.
The department’s initial account of the crash was that the car driven by Edith Schmucker, 56, Nappanee, Indiana, crossed into the SUV’s path, but the office released a statement Thursday saying investigators had talked with witnesses and viewed video evidence that their preliminary determination of which direction the vehicles were traveling was incorrect.
Investigators determined that the SUV driven by Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka, Indiana, crossed the centerline for unknown reasons in a rural area near the town of Wakarusa. Potts was Walorski’s district director and the Republican chairman for northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County. Also killed in the crash was Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington, D.C., who was Walorski’s communications director.
Walorski, 58, was first elected to represent northern Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012. She previously served six years in the state’s Legislature. Walorski was seeking reelection this year to a sixth term in the solidly Republican district.