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Coroner’s Report on Death of Jackie Walorski Released

Officials concluded their investigation into the car accident that killed Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) last month, determining that the car her staff member was driving was responsible for the crash.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said in a release on Friday that the cause of the accident was that the Toyota RAV4 that staffer Zachery Potts was driving northbound when he veered into the southbound lane while trying to pass a flat-bed truck. The Toyota collided with a Buick traveling southbound as Potts attempted to pass the truck.

The office also concluded that excessive speed played a role in the accident. Evidence from the reconstruction of the crash showed that the Toyota was traveling at 82 miles per hour about five seconds before the collision occurred. The vehicle was “coasting” and dropped to 77 miles per hour milliseconds before the airbags deployed.

The crash occurred on Aug. 3 around 12:30 p.m., killing Walorski, Potts and Emma Thomson, Walorski’s communications director. The driver of the Buick, Edith Schmucker, was also killed.

The Elkhart County coroner ruled that Walorski’s death was accidental and caused by the dislocation of the cervical spine as a result of the accident. Potts, Thomson and Schmucker died from multiple injuries sustained in the crash, the coroner ruled.

Police changed their initial description of what happened one day after the crash, announcing that the car Walorski was a passenger in crossed the state highway’s centerline and caused the head-on crash. Officials had originally said Schmucker’s car crossed into the Toyota’s path.

The sheriff’s office release states that airbag control module data shows that Potts steered the Toyota to the left just before the crash.

Investigators did not find any evidence of cell phones being used prior to the crash after reviewing cell phone information from all occupants of both vehicles. They also did not find any evidence of mechanical failures.

“All of the evidence and information gathered is consistent with someone attempting to pass another vehicle on a two-lane roadway,” the release states.

The sheriff’s office consulted with Indiana State Police for an independent review of the evidence, and the police department came to the same conclusions.

Walorski had represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District since 2013 and was running for reelection this year. A special election will be held in November to fill her seat for the remainder of the term simultaneously with a general election to determine who will hold the seat for the next two years.

  • Bonnie J Bishop says:

    Splitting hairs here, a car can not cause an accident. The driver caused the accident. Now if you had said that it was suspected that the driver of the other car was thought to have crossed into the opposite lane, and then clarified that the non-suspected driver was now the cause. That would have been possible. But cars do not decide where they go, unless some part of the car fails. In this case they did prove it was driver caused. Again, cars, nor guns kill people!

    • John says:

      Technically, I’m guessing it had mostly to do with the sudden stop.

    • Guest says:

      She should have been driving an American-made car!

      • Mike M. says:

        Is is possible for you to make a more STUPID, unfunny statement?
        I don’t think so.
        And so far, three idiots agree with you post. Pathetic.

      • James Daniel says:

        Wouldn’t have made much difference. If her car was travelling at 77 mph on impact and the other car was travelling at 40 plus mph, the combined velocity on impact is the equivalent of running into a wall at 117 mph. If the other car were doing 55, the impact speed would be 132 mph. In any road car, the three point harness isn’t capable of keeping you safe at that kind of impact velocity.

      • Rudy says:

        My family has driven AMERICAN MADE Toyotas almost primarily a couole decades. They are the most reliable cars we have ever owned.

        If you look at safety ratings toyota is one of the best across the board.

        Note that the driver of the American BRANDED Buick died also. At a combined speed of probably 140+ mph not many if any vehicle would of resulted in any survivors.

        Most of that Buick, as well as many American Branded vehicles are built mostly in MEXICO and CANADA with MANY china parts!

        My Toyota is 70% USA sourced content and built in California.

      • Hunter says:

        The car had nothing to do with it – the driver caused the accident and therefore responsible for killing himself and others. Oh, by the way, it was not a self-driving vehicle; the car did only what the driver caused it to do. Just like guns – guns do not load themselves; they do not walk out and look for a victim; they do not pull the trigger themselves – a human does it. Therefore, people kill people – neither guns nor cars kill people unless a PERSON is operating them.

  • James says:

    Unless there is a mechanical failure, which does not seem the case, the car did NOT cause this accident, it was the people directing the driver, or the driver of the car, that attempted to pass. Did anyone take a drug or alcohol test of the driver. It’s stupidity that causes most accidents, this appears to be a stupid decision, but certainly was not the fault of the automobile.

  • AllNotWell says:

    Did they check for hacking into the Toyota Rav4 car computer to make it swerve? Since the car can “self-check” for obstacles and swerve back away from them, can it not be hacked to make it swerve on command? I would not put it past the Cabal of Elitist Globalists to kill her and the others were just collateral deaths.

    • BarbUltraMaga says:

      @AllNotWell – Tho I don’t believe it to be the case in this particular instance, you raise a valid point. The ‘new & improved’ computer operated automobiles definitely are hackable, giving the driver zero control. A reason to buy older cars.



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