UPDATE | Train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck, 1 on truck killed


WASHINGTON (AP) — A chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican policy retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck in a rural Virginia town today. The White House said one person was killed, and local officials said others were injured.

Lawmakers said the fatality appeared to be someone in the truck. One lawmaker aboard the train, Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, said the vehicle had been ripped in half. He said he saw a person wrapped in a tarp and said emergency workers appeared to be "putting a body away."

Cole said he felt "a tremendous jolt" when the accident occurred, nearly two hours after the train left Washington headed to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Amtrak spokeswoman Beth Toll said two crew members and two passengers were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries after the incident, which happened about 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Va., about 15 miles west of Charlottesville.

1:04 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, and aides say a train carrying them to a policy retreat in West Virginia has struck a truck.

Johnson described a collision between a train carrying him and other Republican lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia and a truck as “a pretty scary moment.”

Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, said, “I was just sitting down and all of a sudden, boom, we hit something and the train came to an abrupt stop. It was a loud thump and a lurch forward. We weren’t going too fast.”

Johnson said he’s not injured.

“I could be better right now, but we’re safe,” he said. “We don’t know much more than the train hit a truck.”

Johnson said he didn’t see anyone on the train fall out of their seats.

The train was bringing Republican lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia when it collided with a truck on the tracks in Crozet, Va.

Johnson represents 18 counties including all of Columbiana County and southern Mahoning County.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) also issued a statement: “Jane and I were on the train this morning traveling to the House and Senate Republican Member retreat. We are both fine. We are keeping those who were injured in our prayers and are grateful for the first responders who quickly arrived on the scene.”

Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole says a person on the truck may have been injured. Emergency workers were on the scene.

Cole says he's not aware of any injuries on the train. A GOP aide speaking on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to speak publicly says no lawmakers were injured.

Cole says he believes the accident occurred near Charlottesville, Va.

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