Railroad Investigator on Train Crash Involving Lawmakers: Accidents Like This Are an 'Epidemic'
A railroad investigator said on "Outnumbered Overtime" that train crashes similar to the one Wednesday involving members of Congress are an "epidemic" in the United States.
The Amtrak train was carrying about 200 Republican lawmakers to a party retreat in West Virginia when it struck a dump truck on the tracks outside Charlottesville, Virginia.
John Hiatt said early indications are that the truck did not heed a warning signal or the signal did not work properly.
"This is an epidemic. We really have so many crossing accidents going down right now. It's part of the infrastructure problem. When you increase rail traffic, you are going to increase crossing accidents," he said.
We're fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck. pic.twitter.com/0I9jOwHTmb
— Rep. Greg Walden (@repgregwalden) January 31, 2018
Our train heading to the GOP Retreat in West Virginia has been involved in an accident. I am safe but first responders are treating minor injuries on the train & treating the truck drivers. Praying....
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) January 31, 2018
President Trump spoke about the "desperate" need for infrastructure reform in his State of the Union address Tuesday. He proposed a $1.5 trillion plan which would combine federal, state, local and private investment.
He said the regulatory approval process must also be streamlined so that new roads, railways and bridges can be built more efficiently.
"Isn't it a disgrace that it can take 10 years to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road?" he asked.
Hiatt said it was unusual for the train to be moved to another location just a few hours after the crash.
"I was surprised to see them move it, but there are still so many unanswered questions," he noted.
Watch the interview above.