1 dead after train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck in Va.; no lawmakers or staff seriously injured
CROZET, Va. - One person was killed after a train carrying Republican lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck near Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday. The White House said no lawmakers or staff appeared to be seriously injured.
Amtrak said the train crash happened in Crozet, Virginia at about 11:20 a.m. FOX News reports the train partially derailed after striking a dump truck that appeared to be stuck on the tracks.
Lawmakers said the fatality appeared to be someone who was with the truck. At least two other people in the truck were reported seriously hurt. Amtrak said two crew members and three passengers were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis' staff tweeted that the first-term congressman was among those taken to the hospital and was later discharged after suffering a concussion.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Earl Weener said Wednesday night that a team of investigators will spend several days at the crash site to determine the official cause of the crash.
The Amtrak train was heading 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.
Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole said the truck had been ripped in half and that he saw a person wrapped in a tarp.
"We're fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck," Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon wrote on Twitter.
Some lawmakers were thrown from their seats, Fox News was told.
“You could hear it, sounded like a bomb almost,” Crozet resident David Taylor described to FOX 5. “A loud, booming thud. We didn’t pay any attention to what it was until we saw the cops coming up here with their lights on.”
Cole said he felt "a tremendous jolt" when the crash occurred nearly two hours after it left the District. 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.
Cassidy later tweeted that three people were on the truck and "one is dead." House Speaker Paul Ryan was on the train, but was unhurt, his aides confirmed.
Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said about 100 Republican lawmakers were on the train when the crash occurred, which made him jump out of his seat.
"I looked out the side of the window and then I could see a truck, just in pieces out the side of the window," Comer said. "It was a garbage truck that was apparently, I would assume, trying to cross the tracks."
Eventually, lawmakers were taken by a tour bus to continue on to the retreat.
FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.