AASHTO Journal

Truck, Train Collision Leaves One Dead, Six Injured as GOP Lawmakers Head to Retreat

One person was killed and six were reported injured Jan. 31 when a special Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a policy retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck at a railroad crossing at Crozet, Va.

The man who was killed was reportedly a truck passenger and one of three in the vehicle. The Washington Post and other news agencies said Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., was among those taken to a hospital, where he was treated for a concussion and released.

However, the Post said, "none of the dozens of members of Congress aboard the train, or their accompanying family members and aides, were among the seriously injured."

The train was headed for White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., where the GOP officials were holding their annual agenda-shaping conference at the Greenbrier resort. Crozet is located about a dozen miles west of Charlottesville.

Reports also said several House members who are doctors assisted with the injured, aided by other lawmakers, the attending physician to Congress and the House chaplain.

Lawmakers told reporters that the collision occurred suddenly without any noticeable braking of the train beforehand, tossing lawmakers and other passengers about.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate the cause, and other federal agencies sent officials to help.

The Post said that after the crash "the lead car of the train, which derailed slightly, was uncoupled from the other cars and will remain on the scene for investigators to assess. The rest of the train carried members of Congress and the other passengers back to Charlottesville Union Station, where they continued to Greenbrier via bus."

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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