CROZET, VA. – New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance, R-7th, was uninjured in the crash of an Amtrak train on its way to a GOP retreat in West Virginia on Wednesday, one day after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
Lance's district encompasses more than 75 towns in New Jersey, including Roxbury.
In a tweet to his spokesman, John Byers, immediately following the collision that involved a garbage truck stuck on the rail line Lance said he was OK.
The message from Lance reads:
“The train carrying lawmakers to our retreat had a collision west of Charlottesville, VA. I was not hurt. Capitol Police and first responders are helping to secure the scene.”
Lance also tweeted photos of the crumpled front end of the train and the truck on its side alongside the tracks; the impact spilled the contents of the garbage truck.
The link to Lance’s tweet: https://twitter.com/RepLanceNJ7/status/958752312222257152
The driver of the truck was killed, according to several reports.
“We spoke quickly and briefly. It was kind of chaotic there,” Byers said.
The chartered Amtrak train had left Union Station in Washington Wednesday morning en route to the retreat in West Virginia. The train collided with a truck around 11:30 a.m., according to Byers.
Minor injuries were reported on the train, with some lawmakers complaining of whiplash; some were thrown from their seats.
One of Lance’s colleagues, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., told reporters he did not feel the train brake before the impact.
"Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting the equipment for damage," Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.
Onboard the Amtrak train were Republican members of both the Senate and the House, en route to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia for the traditional post-State of the Union retreat. Vice President Pence was going to meet and speak with the lawmakers Wednesday night, and Trump was expected to visit Thursday.
Most of the lawmakers were transferred to buses for the remainder of the trip to West Virginia.
The retreat is held for lawmakers to plan their agenda for the upcoming year; Democratic members of Congress are expected to meet next week, according tio Byers.