Train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck; 1 on truck killed

Published on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 20:55
Written by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican policy retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck in a rural Virginia town Wednesday. The White House said one person was killed, and local officials said others were injured.

Lawmakers said the fatality appeared to be someone in the truck. One lawmaker aboard the train, Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, said the vehicle had been ripped in half. He said he saw a person wrapped in a tarp and said emergency workers appeared to be “putting a body away.”

Cole said he felt “a tremendous jolt” when the accident occurred, nearly two hours after the train left Washington headed to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Amtrak spokeswoman Beth Toll said two crew members and two passengers were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries after the incident, which happened about 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Virginia, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of Charlottesville.

Alex Prevost, a University of Virginia health system spokesman, said it had received three patients and two more were on the way. He could not confirm a fatality.

Albemarle County police spokeswoman Madeline Curott also would not confirm a fatality but said three people on the truck were seriously injured.

Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis’ staff members tweeted that the first-term congressman was among those taken to the hospital. The tweet from Lewis’ account said he was being checked for a concussion because of the impact.

The policy retreat, an annual event, is scheduled to last three days and feature speeches from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. By early afternoon, lawmakers were boarding buses to resume their trip and Pence was still planning to address them later Wednesday.

Cole 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.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 20:55. Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 20:57.