December 30, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext 247
(6:05 p.m.) Update #4: Photographs and additional info released:
* St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Oregon confirmed 26 patients transported there. Five of those patients were transported to a secondary hospital for treatment. The other 21 patients are still being treated there.
* Umatilla Cunty Office of Emergency Management has opened up the Convention Center in Pendleton for any bus occupants who are not hospitalized. The Red Cross will be helping at that location.
* Additional photographs from the scene provided in link with this update.
* If there is important information for release tonight, an update will be sent. Otherwise, no more information for release.
(5:13 p.m.) Update #3: The following additional information is released:
* The charter bus company is Mi Joo Tour & Travel from Vancouver, British Columbia.
* All deceased victims and injured persons have been removed from the scene. No confirmation on total number of bus occupants.
* Investigators are still at the scene.
(4:10 p.m.) Update #2: The following additional information is released:
* The confirmed number of fatalities has risen from 5 to 9 victims.
* We are continuing to try and confirm the total number of passengers and number of injured persons transported to area hospital or secondary locations due to severity of injuries. St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton confirmed 18 patients were brought to their hospital with a range of injuries. Some of those patients were transported by air to secondary hospital locations due to the severity of their injuries.
* The bus driver survived the crash but investigators have not be able to speak to this person because of severity of injuries and medical care.
* The name of the charter bus company is not expected to be released today. The bus reportedly was enroute on a return trip from Las Vegas, Nevada to Vancouver, British Columbia.
* Names and other information of the bus occupants will not be released today. Deceased victims' names will only be released after confirmation of next of kin notifications, and given the fact they are believed to be out of country residents this could may take an unknown length of time.
* Investigators are still on scene conducting the initial at-scene investigation. The cause of the crash is not known.
(1:20 p.m.) Update #1 - On scene responders are confirming:
* Five (5) fatalities
* Approximately twenty (20) people have been transported to an area hospital with additional injured persons being prepared for transport
* Three (3) fixed wing medical aircraft standing by at Pendleton-area airport to transported any injured to out-of-area hospitals
* Personnel trained for rope rescues are on scene helping retrieve people from the crash scene back to the highway
* Emergency responders from multiple agencies in the Umatilla and Union county areas are on scene
* The charter bus appears to be carrying an estimated 40 people. No information regarding the charter bus company or where they were traveling from or to is being released at this time. Many details still being confirmed.
* Westbound lanes closed at La Grande area. ODOT will be coordinating info release on vehicle travel and updates can be viewed at www.TripCheck.com.
A photograph taken from the roadway showing emergency responding personnel at scene provided with this update news release. No other being released at this time.
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers and local emergency responders are on scene of a Sunday morning bus crash in which at least one person is confirmed deceased along the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 east of Pendleton. Westbound lanes are closed for an unknown period at milepost 228. The following brief details are being released at this time and updates will be provided as appropriate during the day via news releases.
Preliminary information indicates on December 30, 2012 prior to 10:30 a.m., a passenger bus carrying an unconfirmed number of people lost control on the snow/ice covered westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near milepost 227. The bus crashed through a guardrail and when down an embankment an estimated couple hundred feet before coming to a rest.
Initial information indicates at least one person is confirmed deceased. At this time there is no confirmed number of people on the bus, total fatality or injury numbers, and who the bus belonged to.
Multiple area emergency responding agencies are on scene and will be through the day. Information will continue to be released via news releases when confirmed and approved by scene incident command.
The following emergency responding agencies were involved with the incident response:
Umatilla Tribal Fire Department
Pendleton Fire and Ambulance
Hermiston Fire and Ambulance
East Umatilla Health District
Boardman Fire Department
Pilot Rock Rural Fire District
Stanfield Fire Department
Milton-Freewater Rural Fire Department
La Grande Fire Department
Union County Ambulance
Walla Walla Fire Department
Echo Rural Fire Department
Imbler Fire Department
Cove Fire Department
Morrow County Ambulance
Elgin Fire Department
North Powder Fire Department
Police/Search and Rescue:
Oregon State Police
Umatilla Tribal Police
Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office
Morrow County Sheriff’s Office
Union County Sheriff’s Office
Umatilla County Search and Rescue
Union County Search and Rescue
This is the second fatal crash in northeast Oregon this morning. Area roads are slick because of snow and ice. OSP and ODOT urge all drivers to go slow and safe for the road conditions where they are traveling. Up-to-date road and weather conditions are available on ODOT's website TripCheck.com.