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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:52 PM

9 Killed In Tour Bus Crash Along Oregon Highway

Source: Associated Press

by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 30, 2012 7:36 PM

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) A tour bus careened through a guardrail along an icy Oregon highway and several hundred feet down a steep embankment Sunday, killing nine people and injuring about 20 others, authorities said.

The charter bus carrying about 40 people lost control around 10:30 a.m. on the snow- and ice-covered lanes of Interstate 84, according to the Oregon State Police.

The bus came to rest at the bottom of a snowy slope. 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 had not yet spoken to police because of the severity of the injuries the driver had suffered.

Lt. Greg Hastings said the accident happened west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called "Deadman Pass." Stretches of highway in the rural and agricultural area of east Oregon tend to be icy in winter months.

-snip-


Read more: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=168311388

15 replies, 3090 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply 9 Killed In Tour Bus Crash Along Oregon Highway (Original post)
Eugene Dec 2012 OP
Cleita Dec 2012 #1
Trajan Dec 2012 #2
Cleita Dec 2012 #3
Left Coast2020 Dec 2012 #11
defacto7 Dec 2012 #13
astonamous Dec 2012 #4
DemoTex Dec 2012 #5
classof56 Dec 2012 #6
wordpix Dec 2012 #7
bitchkitty Dec 2012 #8
bitchkitty Dec 2012 #9
ailsagirl Dec 2012 #10
denbot Dec 2012 #12
CanSocDem Dec 2012 #14
Adsos Letter Dec 2012 #15

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:59 PM

1. I've been on that highway. It's pretty treacherous. Many of the roads in that area are.

It's kind of remote too. I hope they were able to get medical care to the victims quickly.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:22 PM

2. 84 is NO GO for us during the icy months ....

We don't travel east of Troutdale on 84 once ice begins to form on the roadway .... It can be treacherous for many many miles .... Just our way of staying safe ....

Whenever vehicles lose traction on those roads, we have to consider that the driver was speeding beyond what was safe for that road in this season .... It is awful and sad, in any case.



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Response to Trajan (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:24 PM

3. Definitely, it's a no go in icy weather. I found it scary sometimes in

summer just because you could see where you would end up if you did go off the road accidentally like from a blown tire or something like that.

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Response to Trajan (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:34 AM

11. When I lived in Pullman, I would drive to Portland on 84...

..On many occasions during summer/Christmas break as student at WSU. If I remember correctly, the speed limit is 70 once you get out of The Dalles heading East. OSP or someone needs to do something in that area now.

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Response to Left Coast2020 (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 03:48 AM

13. actually it's all 65mph along 84.

It doesn't hit 70 till Idaho.

Deadman pass is a good name for that 8% 3000' elevation drop that goes on for about 6 or 7 miles. It's a thrilling view but a treacherous drop.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:39 PM

4. very close to my mom's home.

I've done that drive many times. Highway on ice... scary!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:58 PM

5. Blue Mountains

I know them well. Big fires near there this past season.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:20 PM

6. Deadman Pass is well named.

ODOT does their best to keep those roads plowed and sanded, but winter conditions are indeed treacherous. It's been many years since I've driven I-84 for a lot of reasons, among them the deer crossing danger. Have known several people who've collided with or swerved to avoid herds, with tragic results.

This accident is awful. The photo of the bus at the bottom of the slope made me cringe. The death toll keeps rising and it's been difficult for LifeFlight to reach the crash site.

Best wishes to all those involved. Such sadness to end the year!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:43 PM

7. I don't know if high speed was involved but buses often speed on the hwys I frequent

like I-95 on the E. Coast. I find it incredible that when I'm doing 65 in my car (the speed limit), some bus driver with 50 riders' lives in his hands is riding on my tail and then going past at 75 mph.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:02 PM

8. I hear you.

I spent a terrifying few hours on a bus on the Pacific Coast Hwy. The driver just hurtled on through the fog and rain at what seemed like extreme speed to me. I was pathetically grateful to get to San Francisco, I almost kissed the ground. Almost.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:02 PM

9. Awful news. n/t

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Response to Eugene (Original post)


Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:50 AM

12. I believe that is the stretch truckers call "The Cabbage Patch".

It is a down hill that if mishandled, will kill you in good weather. I' ve made that drop, a half dozen times, slowly using lower gears and the engine break. I would be very reluctant to try it in icy conditions.

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Response to denbot (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:57 AM

14. That's right.



But you know the bus drivers situation. Less experience, marginal equipment, fatigue and inappropriate schedules to name a few reasons for this crash.

.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:03 PM

15. High speed video of that stretch of highway

Video is in the large player at the right on this page:

http://www.bigrigtravels.com/The-Video-Vault/Videos-By-State/Oregon-Videos/10797269_NQkjwB#!i=1228896630&k=ZwRC3MC


Easy to see from the video how bad weather could make that an especially dangerous stretch of highway. Lots of opportunities to build up too much speed between, and through, the turns.

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