Jamie MacKinnon Walsh, an architect, former school board member and the wife of 19th District state Rep. Jim Walsh, was killed in a head-on collision with a log truck in Grays Harbor County Monday.
Jamie Walsh, 58, of Aberdeen, was southbound on U.S. Highway 101 at mile marker 78 when her vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a fully loaded log truck at about 10:40 a.m. on Oct. 24, according to Washington State Patrol.
She died at the scene.
Jim Walsh released a statement Tuesday afternoon, noting that Jamie Walsh was the mother of five children and his wife of 33 years.
“We met when we were both 18,” Jim Walsh wrote. “She asked me to dance at a college party. She was light, in the deepest sense of that word. We were able to travel together quite a bit when we were younger. But, by her nature, Jamie liked staying home.”
Jim Walsh wrote that, about 20 years ago, he and Jamie Walsh bought an old house in Aberdeen that became her main project, both personally and professionally.
“She was determined to restore it to its 1890s glory,’ he continued. “Her children and I will finish what she started. And we will do that, generally. Our family thanks everyone who's reached out to us with prayers and condolences at this sad time. Rest assured that she would encourage everyone to see the best, the most hopeful, the most graceful parts of life — even through tears.”
The crash remains under investigation.
The driver of the log truck, Edward S. Reames, 60, of Aberdeen, was not injured. Both drivers were wearing seat belts.
Jamie Walsh’s 2003 Chrysler 300 was totaled in the crash.
Condolences were expressed by lawmakers and state leaders throughout the day Tuesday.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Jamie Walsh,” House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox said in a statement Tuesday morning. “Anyone who knew her got to see, firsthand, that she was a phenomenal mother and wife. Jamie and Jim were an amazing team and raised outstanding children. Jamie was energetic, motivated, and dedicated to helping Jim do what was best for their community and state. This is a tragic loss on so many levels. On behalf of the House Republican Caucus, we offer our condolences to Jim, his children and all of Jamie’s family. We wish them peace and strength during this incredibly difficult time.”
Jim Walsh’s 19th District colleague state Sen. Jeff Wilson also released a statement.
“Yesterday our state lost an amazing person, Jamie MacKinnon Walsh, in a tragic accident,” Wilson wrote. She was a loving mother, citizen, friend and wife of state Representative Jim Walsh of the 19th district. Our love for her will never be replaced as her presence will always continue on in our heart. Prayers to the family, and friends of Jamie. Heaven has gained an angel.”
Service details have not been announced.