A coach bus carrying Canadian tourists at the end of a nine-day tour crashed over a guard rail on Interstate 84 near Pendleton, Ore., killing nine on board and injuring dozens more.
According to an AP report with help from ABC News, 46 people were aboard the tour bus as it was on its final leg of its sojourn, returning home to Vancouver, B.C., Canada, after a final day in Las Vegas. Officials at the scene said the site of the crash on the interstate highway is known as “Dead Man’s Pass” and has claimed numerous lives in the past.
At the time of the crash on Sunday morning, it is reported that this particular section of the highway was icy as the area was enduring a winter storm that made the roads treacherous. Based on the video captured from the scene, the bus can be seen crashed at the bottom of a large embankment off the highway.
Rescuers and other emergency officials were also impeded by the wintry conditions, which were only worse off the side of the highway where the crashed bus was resting. It took longer to remove the passengers and bus driver from the scene as officials resorted to a “hauling” method to get the passengers up the slope where the bus slid.
In addition to the the 9 deaths, another 14 passengers were transported to a local hospital. One of those passengers was reported in serious condition late on Sunday night. Seven passengers were discharged and were placed in the care of a local American Red Cross organization. Another 16 passengers were transported to other hospitals in the area.
The driver of the bus was seriously injured and was unable to give his account of the events that led to the crash.
In another report from USA Today citing another local account: “The East Oregonian said it spoke with two South Korean passengers, ages 16 and 17. Both said through a translator that they were seated near the rear of the bus when it swerved a few times, hit the guardrail and flipped. They described breaking glass and seeing passengers pinned by their seats as the bus slid down the hill. Both said that they feared for their lives.”