AZ lawmakers on train that crashed into truck in VA; Jeff Flake helps injured

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(3TV/CBS 5) -

Several Arizona lawmakers were on board the train that crashed into a truck in Virginia Wednesday morning.

One person was killed in the crash.

The train was carrying members of Congress to their legislative retreat in West Virginia.

[RELATED: Train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck, reports say 1 person dead]

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Rep. Paul Gosar and Rep. Martha McSally were both on the train. Neither was hurt.

Flake spoke on CNN shortly after the crash. He said he was on the train near the front with his wife and son.

"We were going through the Virginia countryside at a pretty good speed when all of a sudden we felt an impact and obviously heard a loud noise," said Flake. "Most of us were thrown in our seats and those who were standing up were really thrown."

Following the crash, Flake said he got off the train so he could help the injured. 

"I looked out the window and saw the truck that had been hit as we went by and slowed to a stop," Flake said. "I made my way back, about ten cars parallel to the crash and climbed off, thinking they might need help with the injured."

Flake said this incident reminded him of coming to the aid of Steve Scalise when a gunman opened fire at a GOP baseball practice back in June.

Then, Flake came to the aid of wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Flake ran from the dugout to help Scalise, applying pressure to his wound. He also called Scalise's wife to let her know what happened before she found out through the news.

[RELATED: Arizona sheriffs honor Flake for baseball shooting response]

"It was all too reminiscent of the baseball shooting ... working on Steve Scalise; similar." Flake said.

Paul Gosar tweeted that he was fine and that he couldn't stop thinking about the first responders and their bravery in a life and death situation.

 The White House released the following statement regarding the crash:

"The President has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates. There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff. Senior Administration officials are in regular contact with Amtrak and state and local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident."    


One lawmaker on board the train did suffer minor injuries.

A spokeswoman says Rep. Jason Lewis of Minnesota was taken to the hospital.

His campaign manager Becky Alery says the first-term congressman has suffered possible whiplash in the Wednesday crash and the hospital visit is standard protocol.

The legislative retreat in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia was scheduled to begin Wednesday and end Friday.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was not on the train, is expected to speak to members later in the day on Wednesday, and President Trump is scheduled to address the event tomorrow.

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