Stephen King apologises for saying fatal crash involving train full of Republicans was 'karma'

Horror writer sparked outrage with 'thoughtless' joke about collision that left one person dead

Chris Baynes
Saturday 03 February 2018 00:33
Comments
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a train crash involving a garbage truck in Crozet, Virginia
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a train crash involving a garbage truck in Crozet, Virginia

Stephen King has apologised for calling a fatal crash between a lorry and a train carrying Republican lawmakers “karma”.

The horror and science fiction author admitted he had been “thoughtless” to tweet a joke about the collision, which killed one person and seriously injured another in rural Virginia.

His initial post sparked outrage on social media, where his comments were described as “vile” and “crass”.

Dozens of Republican members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, were travelling from Washington to their legislative retreat in West Virginia when their train crashed into a dustbin lorry that was crossing railway lines on Wednesday.

A passenger in the truck died and its driver was seriously injured. No Republicans or their families, who were also travelling on the train, were badly hurt.

The next day, Mr King, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, tweeted: “A trainload of Republicans on their way to a pricey retreat hit a garbage truck. My friend Russ calls that karma.”

After being criticised for the post, he added: “Of COURSE sorry the truck driver died.”

He later followed up with a longer apology, writing: “A rather thoughtless tweet from me concerning the train-truck crash, for which I apologise (if one is necessary). It should be pointed out, too, that those Republican politicians, who can be heartless when they vote, immediately got out to help.”

Piers Morgan was among the many people who criticised the writer's initial tweet, responding: “A man died in that crash, you despicable man.”

Others said they would consider boycotting the King’s books over his comments.

The cause of the rail crash, in Crozet, is under investigation. The Amtrak train was travelling at about 60mph when it hit the truck.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in