Train carrying GOP lawmakers collides with garbage truck, killing 1 on truck

Train carrying GOP lawmakers collides with garbage truck
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 08:09:24-05

(RNN) – A train carrying Republican lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck on Wednesday. The collision happened 15 miles west of Charlottesville, VA in Crozet.

Three people were on the truck, Rep. Bill Cassidy reports. One person on the truck was killed, another was airlifted to the University Hospital at the University of Virginia, another had minor injuries. 

Some GOP Congressional members tweeted that they were OK. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was also on the train, and his office told CNN he was all right. The only passengers on the train were the Republicans and some members of their families - including children.

Rep. French Hill tells CNN via phone that he believes that the driver was thrown from the truck. 

"The train stopped just at the crossing, after striking the truck and fortunately several members of Congress are physicians – Dr. Phil Roe (TN) and Dr. Brad Wenstrup (OH) were out immediately, and the Capitol Police were able to provide first aid to the injured," Hill said on CNN.

Lee Zeldin, R-NY, said that the train stayed on the track and that no one was seriously injured.

"There are no reported injuries to passengers or crew members. Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting equipment for damage," AMTRAK said in a statement.

The train originated from Union Station in Washington, DC. There are conflicting reports of whether the train will continue on or if buses are en route to pick up the legislators to take them on to the retreat.

Capitol Police personnel were on the train and usually travel with high profile members. They issued a statement they are working with partner law enforcement agencies.

Zeldin said local law enforcement officials are patrolling the area because almost every Republican Congressional lawmaker is on the train.

Pres. Trump is scheduled to head the retreat later on Wednesday, but he is flying on Air Force One. 

"The President has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates. There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident."

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted that she was praying for everyone on and off the train involved in the accident.

This is the second deadly incident involving GOP lawmakers in less than a year.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was critically injured in a shooting at a charity baseball practice in June in Alexandria, VA, outside of Washington, DC.

He was one of five shooting victims - which include the shooter - and had surgery to repair a gunshot wound to his hip. He has recovered and returned to Congress.

Also shot were lobbyist Matt Mika, Congressional staffer Zach Barth and Capitol Police officer Krystal Griner who was shot in the ankle.

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