Train carrying Republican lawmakers hits truck in Virginia

PUBLISHED Wed, January 31, 2018 - 11:44am EST
Credit: Jack Durkin

A passenger train carrying a number of Republican lawmakers has collided with a dump truck near Charlottesville in Virginia, killing one person in the truck, officials and passengers say. A number of other people have been injured.

The incident happened at about 11:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday when the Amtrak train collided with a trash truck in Crozet, a census-designated place in Albemarle County, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Charlottesville.

A total of 3 people were in the truck when it was hit by the train at a railway crossing. One of those on board the truck was killed and two others were injured, including one who lawmakers helped carry to an ambulance, according to U.S. Senator Jeff Flake.

There were no reports of fatalities on the train, though multiple passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Amtrak said 2 passengers and 2 crew members were taken to hospital, but U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions estimated that as many as 15 to 20 people were treated at the scene.

U.S. Congressman Jason Lewis told Fox News in an interview that he was among those hurt. "I think a little bit of a whiplash and maybe a tiny bit of a concussion, but I'm fine compared to what's happened, tragically, to [those in the truck]," he said before being taken an area hospital.

The University of Virginia Health System said 3 patients had been taken to UVA Medical Center, and two additional patients were still en-route as of 1 p.m. ET. "One patient is in critical condition; the remaining patients are still being evaluated," the hospital said on Twitter.

A spokesperson for Amtrak said the train originated in Washington, D.C. but provided no specific details about the accident. "Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting the equipment for damage," Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump had been fully briefed about the accident. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident," she said in a statement.

The cause of Wednesday's accident was not immediately known, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation. Federal law enforcement, including the FBI, are also expected to investigate because the accident involved members of Congress.

  Crozet, VA     





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