Train carrying GOP lawmakers to policy retreat hits truck; 1 person dead

UPDATE:
White House: 1 dead in Virginia train-truck collision, no lawmakers or staff seriously injured.


CROZET, Va. (AP) — A chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Virginia, on Wednesday. No lawmakers were believed injured, but it at least one person in the truck was said to be seriously injured.

Sen. Jeff Flake told CBS News a person in that truck had died.

“We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck,” Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote on Twitter.

A GOP aide said the train is partially derailed.

Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole says a person on the truck may have been seriously injured.

Cole said he’s not aware of any injuries on the train. A GOP aide speaking on condition of anonymity says no lawmakers were injured.

Cole said he believes the accident occurred south of Charlottesville, Virginia. The train was en route to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs for a three-day issues retreat featuring appearances by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., tweeted: “The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries.”

Cole said he felt “a tremendous jolt” when the accident occurred at about 11:15 a.m. EST, nearly two hours after it left Washington headed to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

He said the train stopped quickly after impact. He said several GOP lawmakers who are doctors got off the train to assist, including Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, who was also at last June’s shooting of Republicans at a baseball practice in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, and treated some of the victims.

Other doctor-lawmakers who helped included Reps. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

Cole said the front of the train hit a vehicle that appeared to be a trash truck, which he said was torn in half. He said the accident apparently occurred at or near a crossing because he could see railroad crossing gates.

He said lawmakers had not been told when they would resume their trip to their retreat.

Sen. Thom Tillis tweeted that he was on board.

North Carolina Reps. Mark Walker, Robert Pittenger, Ted Budd and Virgina Foxx were on board.

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