Michigan lawmakers unhurt in Amtrak train crash

Keith Laing
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Six Michigan House Republican lawmakers were on an Amtrak train that collided with a garbage truck Wednesday while they were en route to a Republican retreat.

Two Amtrak crew members and three passengers were transported to a local hospital, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said. There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury, according to a U.S. Department of Department statement.

GOP U.S. Reps. Fred Upton of St. Joseph, John Moolenaar of Midland, Paul Mitchell of Dryden, Mike Bishop of Rochester, Tim Walberg of Tipton and Bill Huizenga of Zeeland said they were unhurt. The crash occurred as dozens of GOP lawmakers were traveling to a post-State of the Union retreat in West Virginia that was scheduled weeks before President Donald Trump delivered the speech.

Staffers said Republican Reps. Dave Trott of Birmingham, Jack Bergman of Watersmeet and Justin Amash of Cascade Township were not on the train.

The train is headed back to Charlottesville, and House members are taking buses to the West Virginia retreat, according to a delegation staffer.

“The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision,” Upton tweeted. “Amey and I are both OK. Docs and security on board are helping secure the scene.”

The chartered train struck a garbage truck in Crozet, Virginia, south of Charlottesville. No lawmakers or aides were reported injured,.

“Today, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to the Republican retreat in West Virginia collided with a truck that was on tracks, according to a statement from Moolenaar’s office. “Congressman John Moolenaar was onboard the train and was unharmed in the accident.”

Staffers for Mitchell also tweeted from his account: “We have spoken with Rep. Mitchell and he is okay.”

Bishop tweeted: “I was aboard the train to the GOP retreat today and am okay. Please keep those in the truck and all those who were injured this morning in your prayers.”

A spokesman for Walberg confirmed in an email “he was on the train and is ok.”

A spokesman for Huizenga said he is all right. The fourth-term congressman was on the train with his wife, according to his Washington office.

“Due to the number of inquiries I need to let everyone know that Natalie and I are on the train involved with the crash,” Huizenga tweeted. “While we are shaken, we are both OK. We have gathered to pray for the victims and 1st responders and ask everyone to join us.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township expressed condolences for any potential victims of the train crash.

“Thinking of my Republican colleagues, their families and the passengers of the truck involved in the train crash in Virginia,” he tweeted. “Praying everyone is ok.”

“Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting equipment for damage. The train originated in Washington, D.C. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available,” Amtrak’s statement said.


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Twitter: @Keith_Laing

Staff writer Melissa Nann-Burke contributed to this report.