One Person Is Dead After A Train Carrying Republicans To A Congressional Retreat Hit A Truck
According to the White House, members of Congress and their staffers have not sustained serious injuries.
An Amtrak train carrying many Republican members of Congress and their families to a GOP retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck on Wednesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that one person was killed and another was seriously injured in the crash.
"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," she said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident."
An Amtrak train struck the truck that was on the tracks at 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Virginia, Kimberly Woods, a spokeswoman for the commuter rail service, confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
There were no reported injuries to passengers or crew members on the train, she added.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was dispatching a team of investigators to look at the cause of the crash.
The 2018 Congressional Republicans' retreat, an annual gathering for GOP members of the House and Senate to discuss their plans for the year, is being held this weekend at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
President Trump told reporters from the Oval Office that he had spoken with House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans who were on the train, who said they felt "a tremendous jolt."
"We don't have a full understanding yet as to what happened, but it was a train hitting a truck, going at a pretty good speed and we'll have a full report," the President said. "A few of the folks said it was tough."
The driver of the truck, Trump said, was killed in the crash.
"It's very sad to see that," he said.
Later, the Albemarle County Police Department identified the victim as Christopher Foley, 28. He was a passenger in the truck.
Trump said the Republicans were still heading out to the conference.
Members of Congress tweeted updates on their safety and images from the scene of the crash.
Elected officials with medical training also assisted first responders.
At a press conference after the crash, members of Congress who were on the train told reporters the scene of the crash was reminiscent of the June 14, 2017, shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, who was wounded when a gunman opened fire during a baseball practice for colleagues.
In both instances, however, they said they saw members of Congress jumping in to assist those who needed help, regardless of the danger posed to themselves.
"I couldn't be prouder of the people on this stage," said Rep. Larry Bucshon, of Louisiana. "Hopefully the people on this stage did save a life."
"To just see people out there without any regard to safety — we saw it both cases — that's heartening," Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona told reporters.
Rep. Phil Roe, of Tennessee, told reporters some colleagues, like himself, were able to look back into their medical training to help.
"If you've been doing something 30-plus years, you don't forget about that just because you've become a congressman," he said.
Rep. Jason Lewis of Minnesota was taken to a local hospital to check for a possible concussion after suffering a minor head injury during the crash.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called it a "terrible tragedy."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said he and his fellow colleagues were "deeply saddened" by the crash.
“My condolences, and those of the entire Senate family, go out to the victim’s family, friends, and coworkers. Our prayers are with the other accident victims who are fighting to recover from their injuries. And our deep gratitude is with the police, firefighters, and medical personnel who sped to the scene.
“It is impossible to overstate how much we Americans owe to our brave first responders – today and every day.”
Alexis Levinson and Lissandra Villa and Emma Loop contributed additional reporting to this story.
The deceased was a passenger, not the driver, or the truck. This article has been updated to reflect that fact.