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Colorado Congressmen Aboard Train That Hit Truck On Way To GOP Policy Retreat

WASHINGTON (AP/CBS4) — Sen. Cory Gardner, along with Representatives Mike Coffman and Scott Tipton, all Republicans representing Colorado, were aboard the chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia when it struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Virginia.

No lawmakers or members of their staff were injured in the accident but one person was killed and another was seriously injured. Those victims have not been identified.

amtrak train
(credit: CBS)

Gardner tweeted that he was okay and asked for prayers for those who were hurt.

Coffman's office tweeted that he was not injured immediately following the crash.

"All of sudden I felt a big jolt like someone punched me in the back and then the train slowed down and I saw smoke rising from the trash truck that was hit," said Coffman. "I think most of the injuries on the train were minor."

Tipton also tweeted that he was okay.

"We're fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R) Colorado (credit: CBS)

A GOP aide said the train is partially derailed.

Coffman described what happened to the person sitting across from him as the train crashed, "He was facing toward the impact, so he flew forward and smashed his knee against the metal pole so I suppose there were things like that on the train in terms of the passengers. It's a sad day, definitely a sad day."

Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole says a person on the truck may have been seriously injured.

Cole said he's not aware of any injuries on the train. A GOP aide speaking on condition of anonymity says no lawmakers were injured.

Cole said he believes the accident occurred south of Charlottesville, Virginia. The train was en route to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs for a three-day issues retreat featuring appearances by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., tweeted: "The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries."

By ALAN FRAM and ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press, contributed to this report

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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