Maine Congressman Bruce Poliquin on board Amtrak train involved in Virginia crash
WASHINGTON (WSET/WGME) -- A train carrying members of Congress, including Maine Congressman Bruce Poliquin, to a legislative retreat in West Virginia collided with a truck just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, Wednesday.
Poliquin's office says Congressman Poliquin was on board, but is okay with a few minor bruises.
He issued the following statement about the crash:
“My heart aches for the families of the those who are impacted by this horrible tragedy. Those of us on the train are mostly shaken but will be fine. Life is precious and fragile. Every day is a blessing. Hug your kids and loved ones every chance you get.”
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins was not on the train, according to her office.
The White House said one person died in the accident and one person was seriously injured.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Amtrak issued a statement saying that the train came in contact with a vehicle that was on the tracks at 11:30 a.m. in Crozet near Lanetown and Marymart Farm Roads.
Police have asked everyone to avoid the area as there are several road closures.
There are no reported injuries to passengers or crew members on board the train, Amtrak said.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said he felt "a tremendous jolt" when the accident happened.
He said the train stopped quickly after impact. He said 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 Alexandria, Virginia, and treated some of the victims.
Other doctor-lawmakers who helped included Reps. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., according to The Associated Press.
Cole said the accident apparently occurred at or near a crossing because he could see railroad crossing gates and that lawmakers had not been told when they would resume their trip to their retreat.
Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting equipment for damage.
One lawmaker said the train hit a garbage truck and that members with medical training were assisting drivers of the truck.
Republican members of Congress were on their way to a retreat at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, that was supposed to go through Friday.
Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to speak late Wednesday and President Donald Trump is set to address the event Thursday.
The train left Union Station in Washington earlier Wednesday.