News & Politics

Heroic GOP Doctors Treated Injured Victims at the Scene of Amtrak Crash

An Amtrak passenger train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Va. No lawmakers were believed injured. (Zack Wajsgrasu/The Daily Progress via AP)

An eyewitness on board the train that crashed in West Virginia Wednesday morning says that some Republican lawmakers acted heroically in the moments after the disaster. The Amtrak train was carrying 200 to 250 Republican members of Congress and their families to a GOP retreat at West Virginia’s Greenbrier resort when it plowed into a dump truck near Charlottesville.

Fox News personality Rachel Campos-Duffy was aboard the train with her husband, Rep. Sean Duffy, and her eight kids when the train crashed. She told Fox News that some congressional doctors left the train to go outside and help the victims on the ground against the wishes of the Capitol Police. However, one of the doctors who treated the injured at the scene said the Capitol Police actually led them outside, although there was apparently a delay due to a jammed door.

Duffy said her children were all fine, but when she looked out the window, she could see a “pretty traumatic” scene outside where people had been ejected from the dump truck.

“Everybody [on the train] is fine. The tragedy is outside,” she said.

“They (Capitol Police) didn’t want to let us out of the car to help,” she said, “because this train is highly secured.”

Duffy explained that because of possible gas leaks, the Capitol Police “were afraid there could be an explosion.” Not to mention the fact that in the moments right after the crash, “they weren’t sure what else could be out there.”

“But boy, we have some great congressmen here,” she continued. “They said, ‘Listen — I don’t care — these guys are on the side of the road,’ and they [Capitol Police] said, ‘no, you’re not allowed to open the door.'”

Duffy said some of the congressmen who are doctors “went outside to help” anyway.

In his eyewitness account, Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) told Fox News that Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Rep. David Roe (R-Tenn.), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) were the GOP doctors who treated injuries at the scene.

Marshall told Fox News that the Capitol Police led the doctors to the rear of the train, but there was a problem with the door.  He said freshman Rep. Brian Mast was able to bust through the door.

Marshall said that when he went outside, Dr. Burgess was working on one of the crash victims and “was checking for other injuries.”

He said, “I went beside him and there was another victim laying there. And Dr. Phil Roe, my mentor, was there trying to get an airway on that person. So I went and helped Dr. Roe. We could not get a pulse on this person. Could not get a good airway on him. Looked pretty bad. We tried CPR. We tried shocking him and just never, never could get him back, I’m afraid.”

Marshall said he then told everyone to “turn their attention to the first person.”

By that time, he added, Dr. Cassidy and Dr. Larry Bucshon and his wife, an anesthesiologist, were attending the other person and “trying to get a good airway.”

“To their credit the — pretty incredible. Had a pulse of 76 and stabilized that person as best we could. E.M.S. Showed up. Did a great job. Got the person to the ambulance and assume they got onto the helicopter okay,” he said.

Later Wednesday, Dr. Marshall described the scene of the crash to Fox News’ Shepard Smith: