Pittenger uninjured in train crash

WASHINGTON (AP) — A train carrying dozens of Republican congressional leaders, including U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, hit 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 hurt.

Pittenger, whose district includes Scotland County, tweeted that he was OK.

“I just held on,” Pittenger told a televison station from the crash site. “We didn’t know what had happened.”

He said that he looked out the window and saw trash scattered and a truck severed.

The lawmakers were scheduled to spend the next few days at the West Virginia resort for their annual issues conference.

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.

Madeline Curott, Albemarle County police spokeswoman, said authorities had received a call “about a fast train hitting a truck.” She would not confirm a fatality but said three people on the truck were seriously injured.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was on the train and was unhurt, aides said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump was briefed on the accident.

“There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury,” but no injuries to lawmakers or their staffs, she said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident,” Sanders said.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said about 100 Republican lawmakers were on the train when the crash occurred, which made him jump out of his seat.

“I looked out the side of the window and then I could see a truck, just in pieces out the side of the window,” Comer said. “It was a garbage truck that was apparently, I would assume, trying to cross the tracks.”

Comer said Capitol Police quickly jumped off the train, but came back and asked for any doctors to help. Comer said lawmakers performed CPR on one person.

A GOP aide said the train seemed partially derailed.

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 and Pence was still planning to address lawmakers.