GOP lawmakers Valadao and Nunes unharmed aboard train involved in deadly crash


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

An Action News reporter spoke with David Valadao and Devin Nunes while they were still on that train. While shocked by the day’s events both men took time to share with us what they experienced in the moments surrounding this deadly crash.

Valadao said he was just watching a movie on his iPad when all of a sudden he felt a thump. He said the train kept rolling for a few moments before it came to a complete stop, that’s when he looked outside of his window and saw the aftermath.

“I see a garbage truck laying on its side, or at least split in half– the garbage truck part of it was laying on its side and damaged garbage all over the place, and there was a truck pretty damaged as well. A couple guys laying on the side of it, and it looks like one of them didn’t make it,” Valadao said. “They ended up putting a tarp over him and the other one, luckily, we had a lot of doctors on board, a lot of members were former doctors so six or seven of them walked out there and started performing CPR and did everything they could.”

Nunes said, “We had obviously a lot of capital police officers and medics on the train so that was good, but unfortunately I think they were able to stabilize the other person to get him out but it didn’t sound very good at this point.”

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, Virginia. 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 headed to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The policy 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…

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