The post- State of the Union address joy felt by a group of Senate and House Republicans, along with their families, in route to West Virginia for a retreat Wednesday morning soon ended in shock and disbelief. The chartered train crashed with a garbage truck resulting in the death of a 28 year- old sanitation worker. The driver of the truck is in critical condition. Rep. Jason Lewis of Minnesota was taken to the hospital with a possible concussion.
The University of Virginia Health System said Wednesday night that it had received six patients at UVA Medical Center. One was in critical condition, one was in good condition, three were still being evaluated and one was discharged, it said.
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was traveling in a front car with his wife and son. He and others helped take the injured to ambulances. You may remember he also helped during the baseball field shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) so badly. Fortunately, several Republican lawmakers are also doctors and one lawmaker mentioned his wife is a nurse who helped out.
Minutes after the train slammed into the dump truck on Wednesday morning, Kansas GOP Rep. Roger Marshall tweeted that he was OK but was delivering first aid to victims.
“We are on our way to our annual GOP retreat, the train carrying members and spouses hit something. … I am helping those that are injured,” the physician tweeted.
Marshall, along with another doctor-lawmaker, Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, went on to perform CPR on the driver of the garbage truck, Marshall’s office said.
As usual, when bad things happen within the political universe, the worst of the opposition’s side shows itself on Twitter. Wednesday’s train wreck was no exception. Jonathan Tasini, a “Bernie Sanders surrogate” according to his bio, was particularly odious. He linked the train wreck with Rep. Trey Gowdy’s retirement announcement. The tweet has since been deleted after he received well-deserved blowback.
Tasini, who penned a column for CNN as recently as Jan. 13, decided the two stories were the result of God ridding Washington D.C. of his political opponents.
Alex Griswold at the Free Beacon captured it, though, along with Tasini’s picture with Bernie.
And this one from Michael Ian Black was captured by a Daily Wire contributor.
When you call Republicans evil but your initial reaction to a truck driver fatally colliding with a train is “haha, what a metaphor for Drumpf!” #TrainCrash https://t.co/pZ7KfEHlqP pic.twitter.com/n33UuyiNcb
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) January 31, 2018
These two twits are not smartass teenagers, they are grown men choosing to get a thrill out of a tragic event. What dark souls.
Speaker Paul Ryan was onboard with his wife and both were uninjured. Alternate transportation took the group on to West Virginia. Ryan said that the retreat would go on but “with an adjusted program”.
The crash cast a somber tone on the GOP’s long-planned huddle at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The retreat would carry on “with an adjusted program,” organizers said Wednesday. President Trump is scheduled to address the group Thursday.
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation.