Our own Jackie Coffin interviewed U.S. Sen. Steve Daines over the phone while he was on board the train that crashed into a garbage truck in West Virginia today.
"I was sitting in my seat on the Amtrak train, I had a Diet Coke I was sipping, I had my tray table down, and suddenly there was a loud bang, and my Diet Coke went flying into the aisle," Daines said.
He and Rep. Greg Gianforte were both on board and are reportedly unhurt, but Daines says from what he understands, one of the men in the garbage truck died and another was severely injured. Daines said several members of the House who are also physicians left the train to help provide emergency medical assistance until paramedics arrived.
"There's a real somber mood right now on the train," he said. "Any time you see that up close, the tragic loss of life. They were just doing their job—tragically one man lost his life and another man was severely injured."
It's unclear what caused the accident, but Daines said from his viewpoint, it looked like the road sharply turned onto the railroad crossing and the train may have been hard to see.
The train was carrying several members of the House and Senate for an annual GOP retreat. Daines said the Democrats also have a similar retreat planned. Tune in tonight at 5:30 for more from our interview.