SUV carrying Jackie Walorski crossed the centerline causing collision, NOT Edith Schmucker's car: Cops
Police initially said the second vehicle, driven by Edith Schmucker, had crossed the centerline and caused the collision
ELKHART COUNTY, INDIANA: As the investigation regarding the car crash that killed the life of four people, including Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, unfolds, the police report states the vehicle that carried Walorski crossed the centerline before the deadly crash. The Elkhart County Sheriff's Office stated their police officers responded to the crash at SR 19 south of SR 119 after 12.30 pm.
There were two vehicles that were involved in the crash: a silver Toyota RAV4 which was driven by Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka which is the vehicle of the district director, Walorski as well a Maroon Buick LeSabre driven by Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee. Law enforcement stated initially that Schmucker's car driving northbound moved left of the centerline and struck an SUV traveling southbound head-on. However, things took a turn upon further investigation.
After finding out witnesses and video footage, the investigation team revealed Buick LeSabre was traveling south and the Toyota RAV4 north before crossing the centerline for some unknown reasons. Walorski, 58, was traveling in the SUV along with her officers, St Joseph County Republican Chair Zachery Potts, 27, and staff member Emma Thomson, 28. All three were killed. The driver of the other car, 56-year-old Edith Schmucker, was also killed, the sheriff's office said.
All the travelers of both vehicles were confirmed to have worn seatbelts and have followed all the traffic rules. The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation further. The investigation team is continuing to interview witnesses and collect evidence from the scene and vehicles. The sheriff's office has requested that anyone with information on the crash, or who witnessed it to kindly reach out to the respective authorities. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a statement from Walorski's office that reads, "Dean Swihart, Jackie's husband, was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. We will have no further comment at this time."
It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this statement from the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. pic.twitter.com/UEPoKBDf5N— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 3, 2022