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Four Arizona members of Congress unhurt after deadly train crash

Posted at 7:59 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 21:59:01-05

Members of Congress from Arizona walked away from a deadly train crash in Virginia Wednesday.

Sen. Jeff Flake, and Reps. Martha McSally, David Schweikert, and Paul Gosar were on board the train traveling to a Republican retreat in West Virginia. The Amtrak train slammed into a garbage truck near Charlottesville, Virginia.

"There was no slowing; it was like 'boom,'" Gosar said.

Flake was near the front of the train, which he said took the majority of the force of the collision.

"The closer you were, the more of an impact there was. It did derail the engine," Flake said. 

Gosar said the garbage truck was almost all the way across the tracks when the train crashed into it.

"We were coming out of a kind of real narrow area with lots of trees and rocks, and it took the top part of the truck off," Gosar said. "Two gentlemen were thrown."

One person in the truck died and another is in critical condition. Several people aboard the train were injured, but not seriously. No one from Arizona, including family members on the trip, was hurt.

As Flake tried to help today, he said he had flashbacks to the scene last year after a gunman attacked the Republican Congressional baseball team practice.

"I thought after that time, 'I never wanted to experience a day like this again,' and unfortunately it came too soon," Flake said.

All four Arizona Republicans were later bussed to the retreat.

Wednesday night they asked for prayers for the victims and lauded the heroes. "Thank God for the first responders and the staff and members of Congress and others who were quickly able to provide first aid and medical care," McSally said.