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Former local staffer killed in crash

A 2012 Bishop McCort graduate who led U.S. Rep. John Joyce’s first re-election campaign was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Elkhart County, Indiana, on Wednesday.

According to Joyce’s Facebook page, Emma Thomson, along with U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, 58, R-Indiana, and Zachary Potts, 27, of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, were killed in the crash.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said the 12:30 p.m. accident occurred when a northbound car traveled across the centerline of Route 19 and crashed head-on into the southbound SUV in which Thomson, Walorski and Potts were traveling. Thomson, 28, of Washington, D.C., had served as Walorski’s communications director since July 2021.

Edith Schmucker, 56, the driver of the northbound vehicle, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

“Our hearts are heavy,” Joyce, R-13th District, posted on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.

“Alice and I are absolutely heartbroken and devastated by the news of the passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, along with her staff members Emma Thomson and Zachary Potts,” the post reads. “For two years, I had the privilege and honor to work with Emma Thomson. Emma’s intelligence, creativity, drive, determination, and humor were second-to-none,” he stated.

“Emma’s work ethic was unparalleled. In addition to leading my first re-election campaign, Emma was the voice of our team — connecting with, and reassuring, our constituents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody did more to make sure that the lights stayed on and our office stayed in communication with our constituents during those challenging and difficult times than Emma.”

Joyce said Thomson loved her hometown of Johnstown and the communities where she grew up in Cambria County.

“Simply put, there was no greater champion for Johnstown and Cambria County in Washington, D.C., than Emma Thomson,” Joyce stated in the post.

Walorski, 58, was born in South Bend, Indiana. She took office as the U.S. representative for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district in 2013.

Thomson, a George Washington University graduate, was the daughter of David and Linda Thomson. Linda Thomson is president and CEO of Johnstown Area Regional Industries.

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