SC Congressman and his wife, both Springdale residents, on train that collides with a garbage truck
Crozet, VA (Paul Kirby) - US Congressman Joe Wilson (R SC-2), a longtime resident of the Springdale area, and his gregarious wife Roxanne, were not injured when a train they, and a number of other Republican Congress members and spouses were riding on, collided with a truck described as a garbage truck in Crozet, VA. This is about 15 miles west of Charlottesville. In the collision, one man in the truck was killed and others were injured.
Law enforcement officials in Albemarle County said via Twitter after the crash that six people were injured, one critically, four were under evaluation and one was released.They also said in a statement that there were three men on the truck when it was hit by the Amtrak train as it entered the intersection.
Wilson tweeted a statement shortly after the accident. In that tweet he said, “Thank you to all those who reached out to see if I’m OK. Although I was on the train to the GOP retreat in WV, I am doing fine, as is Roxanne. Prayers go out to all those injured today, and to the loved ones of the person who lost his life in this tragic accident.”
Congressman Wilson and his wife, along with many other GOP House members and spouses, were on the train enroute to a retreat at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.The train had started its journey at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Wilson and the other Congress members were taken back to Charlottesville where they were they board buses for the remainder of the trip.
At least one Congressman, Rep. Jason Lewis of MN, was taken to hospital for treatment of a concussion, his staff later tweeted. He was treated, released and planned on continuing on the retreat and "participating in the retreat as much as he is able," according to his staff members.
Ironically, the Greenbrier Hotel is the location of a super-secure, and once top-secret bunker that was built in the cold war era to keep the president and other members of our federal legislature safe in the event of an attack on the US. It had sleeping and eating facilities for members of the government as well as all the spaces and resources necessary to run the government from the bunker built under a West Virginia mountainside. It included a pharmacy, intensive care unit, and other neccesities if our nation were under attack.
The Greenbrier's website says that construction began in 1958 on the 112,544-square-foot bunker, which was built 720 feet into the hillside under The Greenbrier's West Virginia Wing. Once completed in 1961, the facility was maintained in a constant state of readiness by a small group of government employees working undercover as Forsythe Associates, a company hired by the resort for audio/visual support services. It was decommissioned in 1995 after more than 30 years of service when the The Washington Post exposed its existence. As a result, the U.S. government de-commissioned it. The Greenbrier Resort is now a luxury destination where the public can stay, meetings and retreats are held, and tours of the bunker can be taken.
The NTSB was on the scene of the crash yesterday beginning their investigation into the collision. It may be some time before their report is completed and released.