More than $60K raised for family of man killed in GOP train crash

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

The family of the man who was killed when a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat collided with a garbage truck in Virginia on Wednesday thanked donors to a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than enough to cover the cost of his funeral.

Christopher Foley, a 28-year-old sanitation worker, died when the Amtrak train carrying the lawmakers hit the truck in Crozet, Va., on Wednesday morning. Two other truck passengers were injured, one of them seriously. Two railroad crew members and three passengers were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

A GoFundMe campaign created by Time Disposal, the company that owns the truck, raised more than $61,000 for Foley’s family in less than 24 hours.

“We are overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support we have received,” Joann Scott, the sister of Foley’s fiancée and aunt of his 1-year-old son, wrote in a GoFundMe post. “His son was the light of his life and Adriana was the love of his life. He was a hard worker and he would be amazed at how many people are coming to aid in this tragedy right now.”

Some of those who donated posted notes saying that Foley collected their trash. One person posted the image of a black ribbon attached to a Time Disposal can.

The company also created a crowdfund campaign for Dennis Eddy, who was seriously injured in the collision.

An Amtrak passenger train carrying Republican members of the U.S. Congress from Washington to a retreat in West Virginia is seen after colliding with a garbage truck in Crozet, Va., Jan. 31. (Photo: Justin Ide/Crozet Volunteer Fire Department/Handout via Reuters)

Slideshow: Train carrying GOP lawmakers crashes into garbage truck >>>

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. The Associated Press reported that the arms at the railroad crossing “appeared to be malfunctioning the day before the deadly crash.” Pete Kotowski, the NTSB’s lead investigator, said Thursday that he is “in the process” of trying to interview the driver of the truck.

In her GoFundMe post, Scott made clear that Foley was not the driver — and urged the community not to speculate about the cause of the accident.

“I would like to make sure that everyone is aware that Chris was not the driver of the vehicle,” Scott wrote. “I’ve seen some really nasty messages and things I would prefer that my sister not see while she is grieving the loss of her fiancé. We are sending positive thoughts to the other families, as well, but there’s so many conflicting reports out there at this time. Just be aware that multiple families are grieving at this time and we all, as a community, need to be sensitive. Speculation does nothing to help.”

“Again, we are so incredibly thankful right now,” she added. “Our community is simply amazing.”

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