Rep. Jackie Walorski and three other people died in a fatal car crash Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office of Elkhart County, Ind.
The Indiana Republican was a senior House member, her party’s top member on the House Ethics Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. Her communications director, Emma Thomson, and Zachary Potts, her district director, were also killed in the accident, the sheriff’s office announced, as was the driver of the vehicle that collided with theirs.
Walorski’s death is a shock to the Capitol community, where two other sitting House members have died this year: Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) died within a month of each other earlier this year.
First elected in 2012, the 58-year-old Walorski was also an advocate for children and families and an influential voice for women in the House GOP conference, helping to grow their ranks over time.
She’d been set to take on a leadership role on the Ways and Means Committee if Republicans took back the House in November.
Nicholas Wu contributed.