WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — A chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday.
No lawmakers were believed injured in the accident including Miami’s Carlos Curbelo.
“Thankfully, my wife and I were in the dining car and did not suffer any injuries,” Rep. Curbelo told CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez during a live interview on CBS4 News at Noon.
The train was en route to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs for a three-day issues retreat featuring appearances by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed the train crash Wednesday evening at the GOP retreat.
“I am just so thankful for the people that sprang into action today. I am so thankful for the police, the first responders and to our physician members of Congress that sprang into action,” said Ryan.
The specially chartered Amtrak train departed Union Station in Washington, D.C. at about 8:30 a.m., and the train hit the back of a garbage truck at about 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Virginia, about 15 miles west of Charlottesville.
“It certainly jolted everyone here. Some people that were standing fell,” described Rep. Curbelo. “There are emergency responders on the train right now accessing people for damages and of course we are very concerned for those who were in garbage truck. My understanding is that some of them have been transported to local hospitals. Thankfully, it appears that almost everyone on the train is in good shape.”
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.
“Everyone knew what they should be doing, and took a role in trying to save life, from CPR, to one gentleman, to controlling breathing and maintaining airways,” said Wenstrup.
The driver of the truck was killed. Six others were injured and taken to local hospitals.
Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis was evaluated for concussion symptoms.
Curbelo explained there were about 250 senators and members of Congress on the train with their families. “We were on our way to our annual retreat where we plan for the next legislative year.”
The policy retreat, an annual event, is scheduled to last three days and feature speeches from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. By early afternoon, lawmakers were boarding buses to resume their trip.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)