CROZET, Va. – One person is dead after an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat collided with a truck in Virginia.
The fatality was the driver of the garbage truck that was hit. Another passenger in the truck is reportedly in critical condition. Nobody on the train, including all congressional members and their families, was seriously injured.
The train crashed in Crozet, Virginia just outside Charlottesville. The University of Virginia Medical Center reported five patients had either been admitted or were being transported.
Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo was on the train with his wife and spoke about the accident.
"There was a sudden impact, a loud noise and everyone was jolted," Curbelo said.
Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said the collision destroyed a garbage truck, leaving it "just in pieces."
Comer said Reps. Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio came to the aid of crash victims before emergency personnel -- including a transport helicopter -- arrived.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was also on board but is fine. The White House says Chief of Staff John Kelly briefed President Trump of the accident.
The president said later in the day in the Oval Office that the lawmakers are "doing pretty good" and are "proceeding with their conference." Trump said he was told "it was a pretty rough hit."
"We feel blessed that we're OK," Curbelo told Local 10 News. "It could have been far worse. The train never fully derailed."
A man who lives near the railroad crossing told reporters that the crossing arms might not have been working correctly.
Benny Layne said the truck landed on his property after it collided with the train.
Layne told The Associated Press that he has recently seen lines of cars stopped at the crossing, with the crossing arms lowered even though no train was approaching. He said motorists would get out of their cars to help guide other motorists around the malfunctioning arms so they could cross the tracks.
Layne said he has seen the arms stay down for hours. He also said he saw a man examining the crossing arms this week.
CSX Transportation owns the tracks where the crash occurred. Buckingham Branch Railroad leases the tracks and is responsible for maintenance, signaling and traffic dispatching on the line.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham said she was not aware of any problems with equipment at the crossing but referred questions to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash.
The train was en route to a conference at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where Trump is planning to address Republican lawmakers on Thursday.