Car Carrying Rep. Jackie Walorski Crossed Center Line and Caused Deadly Crash, Sheriff Says
The car carrying Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) crossed SR19’s centerline and collided with a southbound vehicle Wednesday, according to police. There were no survivors of the fatal accident.
Elkhart County Sheriff Jeff Siegel corrected previous information from his office that indicated the southbound vehicle, driven by Edith Schmucker, 56, had drifted left into the northbound traffic. He said witnesses and video evidence was located that contradicted his department’s earlier theory.
Schmucker, of Nappanee, Indiana, was driving her maroon Buick LeSabre south on the state highway when, around noon Wednesday, a silver Toyota RAV4 crossed the centerline and struck her car, according to the sheriff. The Elkhart County sheriff said authorities had not determined what caused the RAV4 to leave northbound traffic and enter the southbound lane.
“The Toyota RAV 4 crossed the centerline for reasons that are unknown at this time and the two vehicles collided,” Siegel said in a statement.
The RAV4’s driver was Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka, Indiana. He had served as a campaign manager for Rep. Walorski, 58, who was a passenger in the RAV4. Walorski’s 28-year-old communications director, Emma Thomson, was also being driven by Potts.
Siegel said occupants in both vehicles had their seatbelts fastened and airbags deployed in both vehicles. Despite those safety features, there were no survivors of the crash, according to the sheriff.
Schmucker worked as a Personal Care Attendant at Millers Senior Living Community in Indianapolis, according to a MEA Worldwide report. The report noted she grew up in Warsaw and attended Warsaw High School, graduating in 1985. The assisted living center is a subsidiary of employee-owned Millers Health Care. A representative from Millers could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.
Walorski represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District since 2013 and was known as a bridge-building moderate, according to a Fox News report.