Elections

Texas lawmakers — including Ted Cruz — were on Amtrak train that crashed in Virginia

Congressman Michael Burgess
Congressman Michael Burgess Star-Telegram

Several Texas lawmakers were among the passengers on an Amtrak train — on its way to a Republican retreat — when it crashed into a garbage truck Wednesday morning in Virginia, killing one person.

No lawmakers or their staffers on board were injured.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess, R-Pilot Point, Roger Williams, R-Austin, were among those on the train who quickly tweeted out messages that they were not hurt.

“Thanks to all who have showed concern,” Cruz tweeted. “I am just fine. Please keep in your prayers any others involved in the collision who have been injured.”

The crash occurred in a rural area near Crozet, Va., according to the Washington Post.

Amtrak officials told news sources there were no injuries on the train itself. One person in the truck was killed and another was seriously wounded, officials said.

A number of Texas lawmakers were riding the train, on their way to a retreat in West Virginia. Among them: Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions, Austin Rep. Michael McCaul, Heath Rep. John Ratcliffe and Woodville Rep. Brian Babin.

Williams, whose district stretches from Tarrant County to Austin, tweeted: “I am on the train and I am OK. We don’t know many details, but security and doctors are here to secure the scene and help those who are injured.”

Burgess spokeswoman Emma Thomson echoed the sentiment: “I have spoken to Dr. Burgess and thankfully he was not injured in the train accident. Following the accident, he helped to administer aid to victims — like he does during any emergency. We hope to share more info soon.”

A photo that included Burgess — a physician with a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology — was seen on social media. It shows Burgess and others trying to help injured occupants of the truck.

U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant tweeted that he was on his way to the same retreat, but used other transportation and was not on the train with the others.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, also said she was not on the train.

“I had a breakfast appointment in Washington D.C. this morning and drove to the GOP retreat,” she posted on Twitter. “Please pray for the family of the deceased and for the safety of those injured in this tragic accident.”

The White House released a statement about the accident, noting that President Trump had been briefed about the situation.

“There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident.”

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were among those scheduled to speak at the three-day GOP retreat.

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, was among those sending well wishes to those involved in the accident.

“Sending my thoughts and prayers to my Republican colleagues onboard today's West Virginia train accident and to the family who @CNN is now reporting lost a loved one in the crash,” Veasey tweeted.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796, @gdickson

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

  Comments