One person killed when Amtrak train carrying GOP lawmakers to retreat hits garbage truck

CROZET, Va. — One person was killed, and six were injured when an Amtrak train carrying Republican lawmakers to an annual party conference in West Virginia hit a truck here Wednesday morning.

None of the dozens of members of Congress aboard the train, or their accompanying family members and aides, were among the seriously injured. The person who died was one of three men in the disposal truck that had entered the railroad crossing.

He was identified as Christopher Foley, 28, of Louisa County, by Albemarle County Police who said he was a truck passenger.

The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team of nearly two dozen people to the site. Federal Railroad Administration officials also went to the scene to assist, a U.S. Transportation Department spokeswoman said.

Several lawmakers, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), helped first responders carry one of the injured passengers to an ambulance — a role that Flake said was “too reminiscent” of the lifesaving measures they took to help House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) after a shooting on an Alexandria baseball field this past summer.

Officials at the University of Virginia Medical Center said six patients were transported there from the crash. One was reported to be in critical condition, four were being evaluated, and one had been discharged Wednesday evening, according to hospital officials.

Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) was among those taken to a hospital as a precaution. A spokesman for the congressman said he suffered a concussion and was treated and released.

The crash cast a somber tone on the GOP’s long-planned huddle at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The retreat would carry on “with an adjusted program,” organizers said Wednesday. President Trump is scheduled to address the group Thursday.

“The president has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident.”

The crash occurred about 11:20 a.m. at a rural railroad crossing in Crozet, about 110 miles southwest of Washington. The train was carrying about 450 people.

 

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