A train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia slammed into a dump truck on Wednesday, throwing lawmakers from their seats and leaving at least one person dead, officials said.
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The truck may have been stuck on the tracks. It is unknown if the train actually derailed.
Congress members on the train flooded social media with images of the wrecked truck, as well as damage to the crumpled front of the train.
The nature or extent of injuries was also unclear. Amtrak said there were no reported injuries to passengers or crew members, though lawmakers reported minor injuries on board.
Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, while saying some members needed medical attention, an individual in the truck was killed.
Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., confirmed this fatality, and said others in the truck were airlifted out.
Amtrak released a brief statement saying the train “came into contact” with the vehicle.
“There are no reported injuries to passengers or crew members. Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting the equipment for damage,” Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said in a statement.
The accident took place in Crozet, Va., near Charlottesville, Va. Members were on a special chartered Amtrak train to the Greenbrier resort, where Vice President Pence was set to speak Wednesday night, with a planned appearance from President Trump on Thursday.
The White House said Trump is “aware” of the accident, which comes one day after his State of the Union address. The retreat is where the party traditionally gathers to discuss their agenda and goals for the coming year.
While injuries on the train were described as minor, Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., tweeted that he was helping the injured.
“We are on our way to our annual GOP retreat, the train carrying members and spouses hit something. Laina and I are ok, I am helping those that are injured, I will have Laina keep you updated as I know more,” he tweeted.
Dodged a bullet! Sounds like #Hillary was trying to pull off a mass Vince Fostering!
— overpasses4America (@o4america) January 31, 2018
The train hit a garbage truck, they're asking for doctors on the trains to help. Right now Dr. Marshall is helping people who are injured.
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) January 31, 2018
The most serious injuries appeared to involve those in the truck.
A Politico reporter, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and others posted photos of the wreckage.
BREAKING: GOP train hit a truck on way to retreat. Sources say driver getting medical attention; members okay. Pic-> pic.twitter.com/99xmsGFEEs
— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) January 31, 2018
We're fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck. pic.twitter.com/0I9jOwHTmb
— Rep. Greg Walden (@repgregwalden) January 31, 2018
In a phone interview from the train, North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, described several helicopters in the air, saying there is also “lots of armed security” working to determine it was an accident and “there was no nefarious behavior.”
“We don’t think that’s the case,” he told Fox News.
Walker said lawmakers are unsure how this will affect their plans for attending the retreat.
“Obviously, we don’t know what those plans are,” he said. “Don’t even know if the train is operable at this point.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 31st, 2018