CROZET, Va. — West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-2) was in the middle of the chartered Amtrak train Thursday when it crashed into a garbage truck at a crossing just west of Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The gate was down, but apparently the truck was going around the gate,” said Mooney. “I just heard a huge bang and hit my knee on the chair in front of me. I immediately worried we were going to derail. I feared an impact of that magnitude might cause the train to derail.”
Mooney said he also was concerned at the time it might have been a potential act of terrorism, but it was quickly learned it was an accident. Mooney said one of those in the garbage truck was killed instantly.
“He was lying on the side of the road and dead when people ran out to see him,”Mooney told MetroNews from the train Wednesday. “The other one was sent to the hospital in very critical condition.”
Amtrak confirmed two crew members and two passengers on the train were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The train, according to Mooney, was backed up to a stop near Charlottesville where he anticipated the members of Congress would board buses for the duration of the trip.
About 80 percent of the train’s passengers were Republican members of the House and Senate according to Mooney. The train did carry a few other staff members who were involved in the GOP retreat planned for the Greenbreir resort.