SUV driven by Walorski staffer crossed center line in deadly crash

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:20 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office says it has obtained new information into a crash that killed four people on Wednesday, including Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski and two of her staffers.

Police say it happened just after 12:30 p.m. in the area of State Road 19 and State Road 119 in Nappanee. Two vehicles were involved in the crash: a silver Toyota RAV 4, driven by Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka—district director for Walorski—and a maroon Buick LeSabre driven by Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee.

Originally, police said a northbound passenger car traveled left of the center line and collided head-on with a southbound SUV. However, one day after the crash, police are saying the information from the preliminary investigation at the scene as to the direction of travel of the vehicles was not correct.

The continuing investigation has located eyewitness and video evidence. Both confirm that the Buick LeSabre driven by Schmucker was southbound on State Road 19 south of State Road 119 and the Toyota RAV 4, driven by Potts was northbound on State Road 19 when it crossed the center line for reasons that are unknown at this time and the two vehicles collided.

All three occupants in the Toyota RAV 4 died as a result of their injuries. The driver of the Buick LeSabre also died:

  • Jackie Walorski, 58, of Elkhart
  • Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka
  • Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington, D.C.
  • Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee

Thomson was the communications director for Walorski.

All occupants of both vehicles were confirmed to have been wearing seatbelts and airbags did deploy.

The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to interview witnesses and collect evidence from the scene and vehicles.

Meanwhile, Michiana leaders are reacting to Walorski’s tragic death.

Stay with 16 News Now on-air and online as we continue to learn more about this developing story.

Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.