The investigation into the August crash that killed U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and three others blamed the driver of the SUV she was driving in for trying to make a dangerous pass.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said in its finding Friday that the driver of the Toyota RAV4 transporting the deputy was heading north when he initiated a pass over a plateau and collided with an oncoming Buick. reverse.
The August 3 collision took place in the Walorski District on State Route 19, a two-lane highway near the town of Wakarusa, about 21 miles southeast of South Bend.
His district manager, Zachery Potts, 27, who was driving, was also killed. its director of communications, Emma Thomson, 28; and Buick driver Edith Schmucker.
Potts had slowed to create distance from the board, then accelerated to 82 mph to make the pass, sheriff’s investigators said in a statement.
“The Toyota was observed slowing down in what was described as creating distance between the truck and the Toyota,” the statement said, citing a witness driving behind the SUV.
“The Toyota was then observed accelerating to a high speed, closing the distance to the unidentified truck,” the sheriff’s office said. “As the Toyota approached the rear of the truck, it swerved into the southbound lane where it collided with the southbound Buick.”
There was no evidence that any phones were used before or during the accident, and there was no indication of mechanical failures, the sheriff’s office said.
Representatives and the late MP’s family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A special general election on November 8 is scheduled to fill Walorski’s seat.
Indiana Republicans chose Rudy Yakym, an executive at distribution company Elkhart Kem Krest, to replace Walorski on the ballot. He will face Democrat Paul Steury, a high school science teacher, and Libertarian William Henry.
Ava Kelley contributed.