On Wednesday morning, an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of the House of Representatives crashed into a truck carrying garbage in nearby Crozet, VA. The collision killed one and severely injured two of the truck passengers. No one on the train sustained serious injuries but six patients in total were transported to the UVa Medical Center.
The crash reportedly occurred around 11:00 a.m. when the Amtrak vehicle collided with the garbage truck on the train tracks. The train started at Union Station in Washington, D.C. and was headed for The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV, where Congressional Republicans host an annual retreat. The site of the collision was only 10 miles northwest of Charlottesville.
Albemarle County released a statement detailing the event:
“At 11:17 a.m. this morning, the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communication Center received a call indicating that a train ran into a truck at Lane Town Road & Marymart Farm Rd. in Crozet, Virginia, a town in Albemarle County.
Albemarle County Police and Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and are there now. Three serious injuries have been reported, all related to passengers on the truck. At this time, there are no reports of injuries from any train passengers. This incident remains under investigation and there are no further details at this time. More information will be released as it becomes available.”
Here is the Albemarle Police Department confirmation of the accident and news release.
Amtrak also released a statement about the accident.
“Amtrak is working with the NTSB, local law enforcement and other relevant agencies to investigate today’s incident in Crozet, Virginia. Our primary concern is for those impacted by this event. It is premature to offer specific comment about this incident, however, it is clear that accidents at rail crossings nationwide are far too common.
This is an opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of exercising caution around railroad rights-of-way. Amtrak continues to work closely with Operation Lifesaver to communicate the dangers of grade crossings. Each year, about 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide.
Over the coming days we will continue to work with the NTSB, law enforcement, our industry partners, Operation Lifesaver and other stakeholders to reduce the frequency of these preventable accidents.”
Some of the Republican members aboard were also medical professionals or first responders. These representatives tended to those injured in the Wednesday crash.
Medical doctors Sen. Roger Marshall of Tennessee, Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio all assisted the victims.
The train hit a garbage truck, they're asking for doctors on the trains to help. Right now Dr. Marshall is helping people who are injured.
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) January 31, 2018
The #Amtrak collision blew up on social media as other members tweeted about the incident.
Today’s incident was a terrible tragedy. We are grateful for the first responders who rushed to the scene and we pray for the victims and their families. May they all be in our thoughts right now.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 31, 2018
Our train heading to the GOP Retreat in West Virginia has been involved in an accident. I am safe but first responders are treating minor injuries on the train & treating the truck drivers. Praying….
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) January 31, 2018
We are moving. Back to Charlottesville where we will transfer to buses. Please keep praying for the truck driver’s loved ones and other’s injured. pic.twitter.com/yBULqkYbBB
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) January 31, 2018
I am safe and was not on board the train in West Virginia. Thank you to those who have reached out and please pray for the safety of all involved.
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) January 31, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence also stated in a press conference that: “Our hearts go out to the families of the lost and the injured, and we thank God it wasn’t worse.”
Rep. Tom Garrett, who serves Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes the Charlottesville area, was not on the train at the time of the crash. He did however, tweet about the event.
I am not on the train headed to the GOP Retreat in West Virginia. We are following breaking news reports from our office in Washington as we pray for the injured.
— Tom Garrett (@RepTomGarrett) January 31, 2018
Statement on the Amtrak train collision in Albemarle County. Read more HERE → https://t.co/qZpMwORKjr pic.twitter.com/sbCwTxma52
— Tom Garrett (@RepTomGarrett) January 31, 2018
WUVA News was at the site of the scene on Wednesday. Check out our video coverage here.