A charter bus returning to Vancouver from Las Vegas veered off an icy road in Northeast Oregon leaving 9 passengers dead and more injured.
The charter bus was carrying about 40 passengers. It was on the Interstate 84. The collision occurred at about 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The bus driver lost control drove off the road. Passengers of the charter did not have seat belts on. Only the bus driver had a seatbelt on.
Firefighters, at the scene, reported that they had never seen anything like this accident. Many of the passengers seemed to have been ejected from the bus. 9 passengers were found dead at the scene. 26 passengers were reported injured. They were taken to St. Anthony Hospital. The driver has survived but his injuries are so severe that he has not been able to speak to authorities.
There have been no reports of additional deaths. The hospital has reported that it is very busy with CAT scans, X-rays, and surgeries for the victims. The hospital had to initiate a disaster code to take care of these victims. The Red Cross set up temporary rooms for the survivors to stay. Survivors stayed at the Convention Center in Pendleton.
Locals know that the scene of the crash is a very dangerous road. Earlier that Sunday another man died when he hit an icy stretch on the Interstate 84. Some of the survivors stated that they felt that the driver was driving too fast. The area of the accident is known to have some of the most severe weather conditions in the north east.
The Oregon Department of Transportation reported that 78% of crashes on this hill involve out-of-state vehicles. Locals report that the scene of accident has also claimed lives before. A spokesman for St. Anthony Hospital said that the hospital often has patients come in because of injuries from accidents on the hill.
There will be further investigation into this accident. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety board will be investigating why the bus left the roadway, condition of road, the highway barrier, and the vehicle.
This accident has caused incredible damage. Survivors of the accident had to spend their New Year’s holiday stranded away from family and friends. The injured survivors may have to carry their injuries with them for life. Medical bills and loss of income can be incredibly high. The families of the 9 passengers died were not able to say goodbye to their loved ones. The amount of emotional and physical trauma is endless. Those that are responsible for this accident deserve to be held accountable for the damage.