NTSB investigating report of malfunction after train hits garbage truck, 1 dead

NTSB investigating report of malfunction after train hits garbage truck, 1 dead
Front of the train (Source: Rep. Jeff Deham on Twitter)
Front of the train (Source: Rep. Jeff Deham on Twitter)

(WWBT) - A train carrying Republican lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck on Wednesday, killing at least one person and injuring six others.

Police identified the victim as Christopher Foley, 28, of Louisa County. Another passenger was airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center with critical injuries. The driver of the truck was taken by ground in serious condition.

Two Amtrak crew members and two passengers of the train were transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center with minor injuries.

The NTSB held a press conference at the Albemarle County Police Department to explain how they would be conducting the investigation.

A man who lives near the railroad crossing told the Associated Press that the crossing arms have not been working correctly. The crossing arms would lower, even though no train was approaching, and people would drive around the malfunctioning arms so they could cross the tracks. He said the arms would sometimes stay down for hours.

The NTSB did not comment on the report other than to say that they have someone investigating the crossing arms.

They also could not address speculation on whether the truck was intentionally placed on the tracks.

"The NTSB does safety investigations, so the fact that we're here is a presumption that it was an accident," said NTSB board member Earl Weener. "Should we find anything which implies differently, we'd immediately involve the proper authorities."

The collision happened 15 miles west of Charlottesville in Crozet. So far, no Virginia lawmakers have said they were on the train.

House Speaker Paul Ryan was on board, according to CNN. The group was heading to the Greenbrier.

Amtrak released a statement to NBC affiliate WVIR:

An Amtrak train came into contact with a vehicle that was on the tracks at 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Va. There are no reported injuries to passengers or crew members. Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting equipment for damage. The train originated in Washington, D.C. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available.

MORE: Train carrying GOP lawmakers collides with garbage truck, killing 1 on truck

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