Crash that killed Indiana Congresswoman Walorski blamed for failed pass attempt – NBC Chicago

A staffer for U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski was trying to pass a flatbed truck on a highway in northern Indiana last month when the SUV they were in crashed into an oncoming car, killing Walorski and three others people, police said on Friday.

A witness traveling behind the SUV told investigators it accelerated, crossed the centerline of the two-lane freeway as it approached the truck and pulled into the path of the other car when the crash happened around 12:30 p.m. Aug. 3, according to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

Data from the airbag control module of the SUV driven by Zachery Potts, 27, who was Walorski’s district manager, showed it was traveling at 77 mph at the time of the accident on a stretch of rural Indiana. 19 near the town of Wakarusa, the office said.

“All evidence and information gathered is consistent with an attempt to overtake another vehicle on a two-lane road,” the office said in a statement.

Walorski, 58, was a Republican who was first elected to represent northern Indiana’s 2nd congressional district in 2012 and was seeking re-election this year for a sixth term.

The sheriff’s office released statements from the county coroner ruling that the deaths of Walorski and the others were accidental as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Investigators blamed the accident on Potts for “driving left of center with a contributing factor of excessive speed”.

Emma Thomson, 28, who was Walorski’s communications director, and Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, Indiana, who was driving the other vehicle, were also killed in the accident.

The sheriff’s office said investigators found no signs of mechanical failure with either vehicle or evidence of cellphone use by anyone in the vehicles when the crash occurred.

Republican officials picked Rudy Yakym, an executive at distribution company Elkhart Kem Krest and a longtime political ally of Walorski, to replace her in November’s election ballot in the heavily GOP district. The district’s congressional seat will remain vacant until a special election in the November ballot to complete Walorski’s term through the rest of this year.

Yakym will face Democrat Paul Steury, a science teacher from Goshen, and Libertarian William Henry.

NBC Chicago

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button