paper said that the teens, one of whom injured a knee and the other
suffered a broken collarbone, were staying at a hotel arranged by the
More than a dozen rescue workers descended the hill and
used ropes to help retrieve people from the wreckage in freezing
weather. The bus driver was among the survivors, but was injured and had
not yet spoken to police.
Lt. Gregg Hastings said the bus crashed along the west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called Deadman Pass.
area is well known locally for its hazards, and the state
transportation department advises truck drivers that "some of the most
changeable and severe weather conditions in the Northwest" can lead to
slick conditions and poor visibility. Drivers are urged to use "extreme
caution and defensive driving techniques," and warned that snow and
black ice are common in the fall through the spring.
The bus had
been carrying about 40 people. St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton treated
26 of them, said hospital spokesman Larry Blanc. Five of those treated
at St. Anthony were transported to other facilities.
Blanc did not
elaborate on the nature of the injuries but told the Oregonian that the
hospital brought in additional staff to handle the rush of patients and
did a lot of X-ray imaging.
I-84 is a major east-west highway through Oregon that follows the Columbia River Gorge.
County Emergency Manager Jack Remillard said the bus was owned by Mi
Joo travel in Vancouver, British Columbia, and state police said the bus
was en route from Las Vegas to Vancouver.
A woman who answered
the phone at a listing for the company confirmed with The Associated
Press that it owned the bus and said it was on a tour of the Western
U.S. She declined to give her name.
A bus safety website run by
the U.S. Department of Transportation said Mi Joo Tour & Travel has
six buses, none of which have been involved in any accidents in at least
the past two years.
A spokesman for the American Bus Association said buses carry more than 700 million passengers a year in the United States.
industry as a whole is a very safe industry," said Dan Ronan of the
Washington, D.C.,-based group. "There are only a handful of accidents
every year. Comparatively speaking, we're the safest form of surface
Sunday's Oregon bus crash comes more than two
months after another chartered tour bus veered off a highway in October
in northern Arizona, killing the driver and injuring dozens of
passengers who were mostly tourists from Asia and Europe. Authorities
say the driver likely had a medical episode.