A train carrying a group of Republican lawmakers collided with a truck on Wednesday morning as the legislators were heading for a retreat in West Virginia.
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Members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives were scheduled to take part in the retreat, which follows the Hill’s short work week that ended on Tuesday with the State of the Union address. No passengers on the train were injured, but Politico’s Rachael Bade reports that the driver was injured. Philip Wegmann later reported that the truck driver was airlifted away–one fatality is confirmed.
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
The crash happened just outside Charlottesville, Virginia and Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) told NBC, “Thankfully it does appear that most people are OK here, some minor injuries.” He added, “We were on our way to West Virginia and it was a sudden impact, a loud noise and everyone was jolted.”
It’s unclear which lawmakers were on the train, but Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters on Tuesday that she would be skipping the retreat, saying “I have commitments in Maine that I missed because of the government shutdown.”
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
— Archive: Rep. Greg Walden (@repgregwalden) January 31, 2018
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) tweeted out a photo of the wreck, writing that “members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck.” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told CNN’s Dana Bash that one of the passengers on the truck was killed and that Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who is a doctor, was providing medical attention to the victims.
.@RepMarkWalker on the GOP train incident: "We've got several members of our leadership including, Speaker Ryan." pic.twitter.com/FwKHSOiCrV
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 31, 2018
In a statement, The White House said “the president has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates…there are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff,” per Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.