On Wednesday, a train ferrying dozens of Republican congresspeople to their West Virginia retreat crashed into a garbage truck, killing one passenger and injuring several others. It was a tragic accident, but author Stephen King didn't have much sympathy for some of those on board.
Namely, the Republican members of congress:
A trainload of Republicans on their way to a pricey retreat hit a garbage truck. My friend Russ calls that karma.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 1, 2018
Unsurprisingly, Twitter users thought King had taken his political thoughts a bit too far:
There was a fatality in that wreck. But, yeah, laugh it up.— Zachary Shrier (@zshrier) February 1, 2018
That's cool, I don't like the GOP, so I'm going to mock an incident that involved the death of an innocent person. Makes sense, right?— Doc Covfefe (@FMFDevilDoc613) February 1, 2018
Karma, yes, as the republicans helped the injured in the truck.— Robert Hilken (@Robert21956) February 2, 2018
Facing intense criticism, King issued an apology of sorts:
Twitter was far from satisfied:
That's big of you. Is it safe to assume that you'd wish someone you politically oppose had died instead?— the Masked Menace (@Masked_Menace) February 1, 2018
King issued another apology — this one a bit more sincere:
A rather thoughtless tweet from me concerning the train-truck crash, for which I apologize (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.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 1, 2018
You can imagine how conservative Twitter users reacted:
Absolutely necessary. Children were on board that train. Never cheer human suffering. How could you? Shameful— Anne (@anne_rosone) February 1, 2018
It turns out the crash's fatality was not the driver of the garbage truck, who was injured but is still alive, but one of the train's many passengers.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was on board during the crash, and tweeted a message shortly after the incident:
Today’s incident was a terrible tragedy. We are grateful for the first responders who rushed to the scene and we pray for the victims and their families. May they all be in our thoughts right now.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 31, 2018
While King doesn't exactly sound regretful about his jab at Republican legislators, he did retweet a link to a GoFundMe page created for the family of the crash's victim.
If nothing else, that sounds like a step in the right direction.