Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., was killed Wednesday in a car accident in her home state of Indiana.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a statement on Twitter Wednesday afternoon from Walorski’s office confirming her death in northern Indiana’s Elkhart County.
The statement said Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, learned of her death from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office. The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.
Emma Thomson, a member of Walorski’s staff, and Zach Potts, chairman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, were also killed in the crash. according to the South Bend Tribune. The paper reported that Walorski’s vehicle was traveling on a state route in Elkhart County when a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the vehicle.
Walorski, 58, was born in South Bend, Ind., and was first elected to Congress in 2012. Before being elected to Congress, Walorski served three terms at the Indiana Statehouse, worked as a missionary in Romania, and spent time through as television. news reporter and director of development in higher education.
News of Walorski’s death sparked a deluge of congressional colleagues and others in Washington on both sides of the aisle. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-mast in Walorski’s honor.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, a native of Indiana, said he was “heartbroken” at the loss of a “truly inspiring Indiana leader.”
“She served Indiana in the Statehouse and Congress for nearly twenty years with integrity and principle and will be greatly missed,” he said. Pens tweeted.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a prepared statement he was “devastated” when he learned of Walorski’s death.
“She was a champion of the people of Indiana, and she will be remembered for her kindness, tenacity and dedication to helping others,” he said. “Jackie and her staff died serving her constituents. They will be missed, and our nation will miss their service. My prayers are with Jackie’s loving husband Dean, her entire family and the families of both of her staff members.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Congress had “lost one of our best.”
“Rep. Jackie Walorski was a true leader/legislator and the most thoughtful person you could hope to meet. She was dedicated and determined, and the nicest colleagues – with the heart to match,” he said in a prepared statement.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat and Indiana resident, praised Walorski for her approach, even though they disagreed.
“Although we came from very different places politically, she was always willing to work together where there was common ground, always decent and straightforward, and she cared deeply about her job and her constituents,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski Dies in Car Accident