Tags: Donald Trump | Paul Ryan | train crash | gop | virginia | charlottesville

Trump: Va. Train Wreck Carrying Republicans a 'Pretty Rough Hit'


By    |   Wednesday, 31 January 2018 04:15 PM

President Donald Trump said a train crash Wednesday in rural Virginia carrying Republicans to a retreat — killing the driver of a garbage truck stopped on the tracks and seriously injuring another worker — was "a pretty rough hit."

"I spoke with Speaker Ryan a few moments ago, and they're doing pretty good," Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

"The train accident was a tough one, tremendous jolt.

"We don't have a full understanding yet as to what happened, but it was a train hitting a truck, going at a pretty good speed," Trump said.

"The driver of the truck was killed," he said. "It's very sad to see that.

"It was a pretty rough hit."

The chartered Amtrak train crashed into a garbage truck that was on the tracks about 11:20 a.m. ET in Crozet, Virginia, about 15 miles west of Charlottesville, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.

Madeline Curott, a spokeswoman for the Albemarle County Police Department, said authorities had received a call "about a fast train hitting a truck."

At least two others in the truck were injured — and the University of Virginia Medical Center said five patients were transported to the hospital, including one in critical condition.

None was identified, though CNN reported that two legislators, including Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis, were treated for possible injuries and released.

Ohio Rep. Greg Walden also told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that "one of my colleagues hit his head, but with a little ice, he's fine.

"Couple others, just out of extreme caution, were taken to the hospital with neck and head injuries."

The Republicans were heading from Washington to a policy retreat at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Walden said the legislators were later placed on buses in Charlottesville for travel to Greenbrier.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his condolences for the victim.

"My colleagues and I are deeply saddened by [Wednesday's] fatal train accident in Virginia," the six-term Kentucky Republican said in a statement.

"My condolences, and those of the entire Senate family, go out to the victim's family, friends, and coworkers," he added. "Our prayers are with the other accident victims who are fighting to recover from their injuries.

"And our deep gratitude is with the police, firefighters, and medical personnel who sped to the scene.

"It is impossible to overstate how much we Americans owe to our brave first responders — today and every day," McConnell said.

Speaking with reporters at the scene, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said the wreck was "reminiscent" of last year's shooting at a Northern Virginia ballpark that seriously injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

"It seems to have been just a horrible, horrible accident," Flake said.

"All too reminiscent of the Scalise incident, where two of us were there as Brad was cutting away the jacket so they could attach some of the life-saving equipment."

He was referring to Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a podiatrist and Army Reserve officer also representing Ohio, who administered emergency aid to Scalise during last June's shooting during a morning baseball practice.

"My mind went back to the same thing, cutting away Steve's uniform so we could apply a tourniquet," Flake said. "Too reminiscent."

Jason Samuels, Flake's communications director, posted a tweet reflecting both incidents.

Flake is in the white shirt:

Walden also told Baldwin the crash had "a sharp enough impact to realize something had happened.

"I've been in trains when they've gone off the tracks. This one remained on the tracks.

"There was a sharp hit."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A train crash Wednesday in rural Virginia carrying Republicans to a retreat, killing the driver of a garbage truck stopped on the tracks and seriously injuring another worker, was "a pretty rough hit," President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
train crash, gop, virginia, charlottesville
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 04:15 PM
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