1 killed when train carrying GOP lawmakers strikes garbage truck

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Train Carrying GOP Lawmakers Hits Truck

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

At least one person was killed and several others injured Wednesday after a train carrying Republican lawmakers to a GOP retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck near Crozet, Virginia, lawmakers and officials said.

READ MORE: What is The Greenbrier, the resort GOP members were headed to when their train hit a truck?MORE

Update Jan 31, 2018 3:24 PM EST PM EST: In an updated statement, Amtrak officials said two of its crew members and two passengers suffered minor injuries Wednesday afternoon when a train hit a garbage truck in Virginia.

They were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Update Jan 31, 2018 3:23 PM EST: President Donald Trump said he will be in West Virginia on Thursday for the annual Republican legislative retreat, one day after lawmakers headed to the retreat were injured in a train crash.

"The train accident was a tough one -- a tremendous jolt -- and they're proceeding to their conference," Trump said. "We don't have a full understanding yet of what happened, but it was a train hitting a truck going at a pretty good speed. It's very sad to see that, but they're going on to the conference.

Update Jan 31, 2018 2:25 PM EST: Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said he didn't feel the Amtrak train slow down or attempt to stop before it collided with a garbage truck in Virginia Wednesday.

He added that he didn't think the train was going at an excessive or unsafe speed. Still, he said, the crash "was a jolt" that reminded him of the 2017 shooting during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was injured.

"We were cutting away some of the clothing and strapping the injured to the stretcher and I was with (Rep.) Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio)," Flake said, according to The Arizona Republic. "Brad and I were there with Steve Scalise. When he was cutting away the jacket so that they could attach some of the electronic equipment, it was just too familiar (and brought back memories of) cutting away that uniform so that we could put the tourniquet on Steve. It was just too familiar."

Update Jan 31, 2018 2:11 PM EST: The annual GOP legislative retreat will go on with an adjusted program that will include a moment of prayer for those affected by Wednesday's train crash, a spokesperson for the Congressional Institute, the group sponsoring the 3-day retreat, told CNN.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by today’s incident,” the spokesperson said.

A legislative retreat for Republican members of Congress will continue with "an adjusted program," including a moment of prayer for those affected by today's train crash, said a spokesperson for the Congressional Institute.

The program will also include a security briefing from the Sergeant At Arms and United State Capitol Police.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by today's incident," the spokesperson said.
Republican members of Congress on the train, which left Washington's Union Station, were on their way for a retreat at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The retreat starts Wednesday and ends Friday.

Update Jan 31, 2018 1:56 PM EST: Albermarle County police Officer W.R. Underwood confirmed to The Daily Progress that the person killed Wednesday when an Amtrak train carrying politicians struck a garbage truck was among the three people in the truck.

At least five people were injured and taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center for treatment. Among the injured is Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minnesota. His staff members said in a post on Twitter that he was being checked out at a hospital, following standard concussion protocol.

Update Jan 31, 2018 1:47 PM EST: Members of Rep. Jason Lewis's staff said the Minnesota Republican was sent to a hospital for a check-up after Wednesday's crash.

"I'm fine compared to, tragically, the truck drivers, and thankful for the prompt action of our doctors and first responders," Lewis said in a statement posted to Twitter. "My thoughts are with the family of the individual who passed away."

Update Jan 31, 2018 1:43 PM EST: House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, called Wednesday's crash a "terrible tragedy" in a statement posted to Twitter.

Ryan was among the GOP lawmakers who were onboard an Amtrak train Wednesday when it struck a garbage truck, killing at least one person and injuring several others.

Updated Jan 31, 2018 1:29 PM EST: Aides said Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, and Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, came to the aide of the people who were injured in Wednesday's crash.

The congressmen performed CPR on the garbage truck's driver and two others who were in the truck, aides said.

Update Jan 31, 2018 1:16 PM EST: Officials with the University of Virginal Health System said three patients were taken to the UVA Medical Center after Wednesday's crash. Two others were being taken to the medical center, officials said.

One of the patients was in critical condition. The conditions of the remaining patients were not immediately known.

A spokeswoman for Congressional Institute, the group sponsoring Wednesday's GOP retreat, earlier said that one lawmaker and a staffer were injured in the crash.

At least one person has been killed, White House officials confirmed in a statement.

Update Jan 31, 2018 12:53 PM EST: In a statement, White House officials said the president has been briefed about Wednesday's train crash.

"There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury," the statement said. "There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff. Senior administration officials are in regular contact with Amtrak and state and local authorities.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident."

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