Photo of the scene shared by Congressman Greg Walden.

Congressman Walden describes Virginia train crash as “terrible tragedy”

Photo of the scene shared by Congressman Greg Walden.

CROZET, Virginia – An Oregon lawmaker was on board a train that struck a garbage truck in Virginia Wednesday morning. The collision left one person dead.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden was on a chartered train carrying House and Senate Republicans to a retreat in West Virginia. In Crozet, Virginia, the train suddenly hit a garbage truck.

Congressman Walden spoke with NBC5 News over the phone just after the crash. He described the incident as a “terrible tragedy.”

Walden said the passengers knew immediately knew they had hit something. For those on the train, the impact wasn’t notably intense. The congressman surmised if any train passengers were injured, they’d likely only suffer bumps and bruises. Walden was surprised to learn it was a garbage truck they hit.

The truck was ripped in half, Walden explained. Trash and debris were strewn about the area.

As Walden described the scene over the phone, members of the press began to arrive, with a helicopter circling overhead.

“Fortunately a number of my colleagues are physicians, or trained in medicine one way or another,” Congressman Walden said. “And as soon as they could get the doors open they immediately ran to the scene and gave aid to the truck driver and crew, and performed life-saving actions. As fate would have it one of those physicians is brad Winthrop from Ohio, who was also first on the scene when Steve Scalise was shot last summer.”

Walden said it appeared there were three people aboard the garbage truck. One was killed. Another is “clinging to life.” A third was able to survive.

It’s still unclear exactly how fast the train was traveling.

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