Jackie Walorski, an Indiana Republican in her fifth term in the House, died Wednesday following a car crash that killed three other people.
Walorski and two of her staffers – communications director Emma Thomson and district director Zach Potts – died in the crash, as did the driver of another vehicle.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., confirmed the news on Twitter, saying Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, had been informed of the accident by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office.
Walorski was a member of the House Agriculture Committee and chaired the panel’s nutrition subcommittee for much of the process leading up to the 2018 farm bill. Following her time on House Ag, Walorski joined the House Ways and Means Committee in 2017. She remained involved in farm policy matters through her co-chair position with the House Hunger Caucus and other memberships.
President Joe Biden paid tribute to Walorski in a statement, and flags at the White House were to be flown at half staff through Thursday.
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"Born in her beloved South Bend as the daughter of a meat-cutter and firefighter, she spent a lifetime serving the community that she grew up in – as a journalist, a nonprofit director, a state legislator, and eventually as a Member of Congress for the past nine and half years," Biden said.
"We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee on which she served. She also served as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, and my team and I appreciated her partnership as we plan for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this fall that will be marked by her deep care for the needs of rural America."
A previous version of this story reported a characterization of events surrounding the crash since corrected by local authorities.
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