WASHINGTON, January 31, 2018: Wednesday morning, a GOP delegation including members of Congress, their spouses, some family members and aides were on their way to a Republican retreat at the Greenbrier, a posh resort hotel and casino located in the Allegheny Mountains in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
These GOP passengers and their Amtrak train had departed Washington’s downtown Union Station earlier Wednesday morning.
Around 11:20 a.m., the train suddenly smashed into a garbage truck that was sitting on the tracks near Crozet, Virginia, some 15 miles west of Charlottesville.
According to West Virginia MetroNews,
“GOP members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives were heading to the Greenbrier Resort for a Republican retreat. Amtrak said none of the passengers or members of the crew were injured but the White House later confirmed one person in the garbage truck was killed.
“According to various reports, a second person was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital.”
Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) said some GOP passengers standing in the aisle hit the ground, while some other passengers ended up with a few bumps and scrapes. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) reports that the train was going around 70 mph. Speaker Paul Ryan was on the train and is unharmed. Of the 200-250 people on the train, the only fatality from the crash was suspected to have been the driver of the truck.”
It was reported that there were a total of three persons in the truck when the crash occurred.
Additional reports said the GOP passengers, including members of Congress, family and staff were being transferred to buses via Charlottesville. They are continuing their trip to The Greenbrier, which is owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Latest word is that the GOP plans to go ahead with their planned retreat, which is scheduled to wrap up on Friday.
Somewhat ironically in light of this morning’s crash, the Greenbrier resort has held considerable historical significance over the years. Not just as a AAA Five-Star Hotel, the Greenbrier iss the locale where a series of secret underground bunkers were built as an emergency safe haven for members of Congress in the case of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. Since it eventually decommissioned and with its facilities presumably re-located elsewhere, the amazing Greenbrier bunker is now open to the public for tourists interested in seeing first-hand at least one government vision of nuclear Armageddon.
UPDATES to this story may be posted as they occur.