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No Oklahoma Congress Members Injured In Virginia Train Crash

Rep. Greg Walden via AP
Many Republican members of Congress were on their way to a retreat in West Virginia when their train crashed into a truck.

Four members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation were on an Amtrak train that crashed into a garbage truck in Crozet, Va. on Wednesday morning.  None were injured.




Rep. Tom Cole, Sen. James Lankford, Rep. Frank Lucas and Rep. Steve Russell were on their way to congressional Republicans’ annual retreat in West Virginia.  Many other Republican lawmakers were on board. NPR reports one person has died and another was seriously injured in the crash.

According to a tweet from the University of Virginia Health System, one person is in critical condition, and four others are being evaluated.


Rep. Tom Cole, who represents parts of central and southwestern Oklahoma, told KGOU he was walking down the aisles of the train when the crash happened. He held onto the luggage rack to keep from falling, but saw other members of Congress fall down.

“You knew you had hit something immediately, but you didn’t know what,” Cole said in a phone interview.

Sen. James Lankford told KGOU he was not hurt in the accident.

“You could hear a very long bang and the impact here on the train,” Lankford said.  In a phone interview, he described seeing the back of the truck separated from its cab by about 50 yards.

“We knew that was a very serious scene for those individuals that were on the ground,” Lankford said.


Both lawmakers described seeing members of Congress exiting the train to help the injured people outside.

“There are many physicians that are members of the House and the Senate that jumped off the train immediately and began to provide care to the individuals in the truck.  They sprang into action to do what physicians do at that point,” Lankford said.

The remaining members of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation, including Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Jim Bridenstine, were not on the train.  

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