Allen, wife uninjured in train wreck involving GOP members

Augusta Congressman Rick Allen and his wife, Robin, were uninjured when the chartered train they and dozens of Republican lawmakers were on struck a garbage truck in a rural Virginia town on Wednesday.

 

“They are both uninjured and praying for everyone involved,” Allen spokeswoman Catherine Costakos said.

No lawmakers or aides were reported injured, but the White House said one person was killed and another was seriously injured.

Other area congressmen including Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., and Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., were on the Amtrak train headed to the Greenbrier resort for a policy retreat in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Both reported they were not injured.

Lawmakers said the fatality appeared to be someone who was in the truck. One lawmaker who was aboard the train, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said the vehicle had been ripped in half and said he saw a person wrapped in tarp and said emergency workers appeared to be “putting a body away.”

Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods says there were no reported injuries to passengers or crew members after the incident, which happened around 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Va. Crozet is about 15 miles west of Charlottesville.

Cole said he felt “a tremendous jolt” when the accident occurred at about 11:15 a.m. EST, nearly two hours after it left Washington. The retreat, an annual event, is scheduled to last three days and feature speeches from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Cole said the train stopped quickly after impact. He said several GOP lawmakers who are doctors got off the train to assist, including Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, who was also at last June’s shooting of Republicans at a baseball practice in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, and treated some of the victims.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was on the train and was unhurt, aides said.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said about 100 Republican lawmakers were on the train when the crash occurred, which made him jump out of his seat.

“I looked out the side of the window and then I could see a truck, just in pieces out the side of the window,” Comer said. “It was a garbage truck that was apparently, I would assume, trying to cross the tracks.”

A GOP aide said the train seemed partially derailed.

It was not clear when lawmakers would resume the trip to their retreat.

 

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