Train carrying GOP lawmakers to policy retreat hits truck, Sen. Lee on board

Local Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) – A chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Virginia, on Wednesday.

The White House is confirming one fatality and one serious injury.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there are no serious injuries among members of Congress or congressional staff.

“We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck,” Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote on Twitter.

A GOP aide said the train is partially derailed.

Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole says a person on the truck may have been seriously injured.

Cole said he’s not aware of any injuries on the train. A GOP aide speaking on condition of anonymity says no lawmakers were injured.

Cole said he believes the accident occurred south of Charlottesville, Virginia. The train was en route 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.

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., tweeted: “The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries.”

Cole said he felt “a tremendous jolt” when the accident occurred at about 11:15 a.m. EST, nearly two hours after it left Washington headed to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

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.

Cole said the front of the train hit a vehicle that appeared to be a trash truck, which he said was torn in half. He said the accident apparently occurred at or near a crossing because he could see railroad crossing gates.

He said lawmakers had not yet been told when they would resume their trip to their retreat.

UTAH GOP Members

Senator Mike Lee was reportedly on the train, but is uninjured.

He issued the following statement: 

“The passengers on the train and I were very lucky to escape the accident with minor injuries. Unfortunately we are hearing those on the truck that was hit [were] not as lucky. My heart goes out to them and their families.”

Rep. Curtis, Rep. Bishop, Rep. Love, Rep. Stewart and Senator Hatch have confirmed they were not on the train.

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...