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Why the GOP train crash reminded Sen. Jeff Flake of the congressional baseball shooting

McSally and Flake weren't hurt in crash
Posted at 3:29 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 22:54:35-05

One person was killed and another was seriously injured when an Amtrak train hit a garbage truck outside Charlottesville, Virginia.

The chartered train was carrying Republican senators and representatives, including Sen. Jeff Flake and Rep. Martha McSally, to a legislative retreat in West Virginia.  

“We had a sudden jarring impact,” McSally said. “We didn't know what it was but clearly we had hit something.”

The crash tore the large truck in two but the train continued forward. The engine had significant damage on its leading edge. 

Sen. Flake told reporters he was sitting near the front of the train and after the collision he ran toward the back and exited closer to where the crash happened. 

Flake says he and two other lawmakers, Rep. Brad Wenstrop (Ohio) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), gave first aid to one of the men on the truck who was seriously injured.

“It was all too reminiscent of the baseball shooting with myself and Brad Wenstrop working on Steve Scalise,” Flake said.

The man Wenstrop, Cassidy, and Flake assisted was taken to an area hospital. Wenstrop and Cassidy are both physicians.

Both Rep. McSally and Sen. Flake complimented first responders and Capitol Police officers for their response to the crash.

Nobody on the train suffered serious injuries.

McSally says she was told the crossing arms at train crossing were down at the time of the crash and there is an investigation into why the truck was on the tracks at the time.